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Demonetization: Sushil Modi attacks Lalu for his remarks against PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Launching a scathing attack on RJD supremo Lalu Prasad for his “chauraha” comment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday said people would prosecute hoarders of black money at the public square after December 30.”People are standing solidly with the prime minister on his decision to scrap high value currencies and they are ready to prosecute hoarders of black money who would be unmasked at the public square after December 30,” he said in a statement. Prasad had asked Modi to choose a “chauraha” (roundabout) where people can punish him on demonetization and December 30 marks the end of 50 days after the scrapping of high value notes when, according to the PM’s assurance, the situation would ease.Sushil Modi said the RJD dharna against demonetization here tomorrow would meet the same fate as that of Bharat bandh and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee’s dharna against it.”The deposit of Rs 104 crore in BSP bank account has exposed the reasons behind protests by Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and Lalu Prasad against demonetization,” he said.”Does Lalu Prasad, who has been convicted by court in a corruption case due to which he has been debarred from contesting any election have the moral right to talk on black money to fight against which the PM took a decision to scrap Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes?” he asked. “Lalu Prasad is the first such leader of Bihar who has been sentenced to five year punishment by Supreme Court in the Rs 700 crore fodder scam, due to which he cannot even fight election for even a mukhiya post,” he added.

Mamata arrives in capital to attend joint Oppn meeting, Left to stay away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Raising the stakes in her fight against Modi government on demonetization, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived in New Delhi to attend a meeting of opposition parties and a joint press conference tomorrow along with Congress, DMK, RJD and other parties.Mamata, who is spearheading the fight against demonetization, will be part of the joint opposition meeting, TMC sources said. Banerjee told reporters at the Kolkata airport, “The Congress has called me for the meeting. Let’s see what happens!” She will attend the media briefing at Constitution Club along with other Opposition leaders including representatives from DMK and RJD among others, sources added. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi are expected to attend the meeting.While the Left parties announced they are staying away, the JD(U) also gave hints that it may follow suit. A top TMC leader told PTI while reacting to CPI-M’s pull-out, said, “It is the CPI-M’s internal matter. But we feel that it is for them to decide on which side they are.” TMC chief will be in the capital for three days and expected to meet several leaders from different political hues during her stay.We want to highlight the hardships caused due to demonetization across the country, a senior TMC leader claimed. CPI(M) not to attendCracks appeared in the Opposition’s unity as the CPI(M) today decided to stay away from a press conference by the opposition parties convened by the Congress, citing “lack of coordination and consultation” among the participants. “We have decided to stay away from the press conference of opposition parties convened by the Congress because there has been no proper consultation and coordination among the parties,” CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury told a press conference here.”Most of the parties were neither consulted nor informed about what will be the agenda of the meeting. Several opposition parties have reservation about the way the meeting has been convened,” Yechury said.The Congress is striving for uniting the Opposition on the issue of Rahul Gandhi’s charges of “personal corruption” against the Prime Minister and plans are afoot for a joint press conference by its president Sonia Gandhi and other opposition leaders on December 27.Yechury said that a few days back he had received a call from the Congress leadership inviting him to the press conference on December 27. “But when I wanted to know what will be the agenda of the meeting, plan of action and whether all opposition parties have been called, I didn’t receive any answer,” Yechury said. On being asked if the decision to stay away would not provide ammunition to the BJP camp, Yechury said,” When you want to take the opposition unity of 16 parties from a Parliament level to a political level then you need to hold consultation and discussion with the political leadership. A decision should be taken on the basis of proper consultation.That was not done, which is unfortunate,” the veteran leader said.He noted that in order to take forward the unity of opposition parties, references should be taken from the efforts that the CPI(M) has taken during the 1996 United Front government and UPA-I government. Yechury wondered why only the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee was invited to the press conference and Chief Ministers of Tripura, Bihar, and the NCP leadership were not properly consulted. “Why are you only inviting Chief Minister of West Bengal and not calling CMs of Bihar, Tripura and other states which have non-BJP governments?” he questioned.

Talk to real people about demonetization, you will get beaten up: Lalu to PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a dig at Narendra Modi over his remark that people can punish him for demonetization after the 50-day window, Lalu Prasad on Monday asked the Prime Minister to choose a “chauraha” (roundabout) where people can punish him for triggering a chaotic situation in the country. “PM should chose his favourite ‘chauraha’ (roundabout) where people could punish him for leading the country to a chaotic condition in the name of demonetization to fight black money,” RJD President Lalu Prasad told reporters after flagging off Rath to drum up support for party dharna across Bihar on December 28.Prasad was reminding the PM of his utterances at Goa where he had asked people to give him 50 days for fight against black money through scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes. Launching a scathing attack at the PM, the RJD chief said “Madari ka khel bana diye hain kabhi notebandi to khabi cashless economy (he is re-enacting play of monkeys in the name of demonetization and than cashless economy)”.Prasad said the PM was under “illusion” that people are appreciating him by chanting “Modi, Modi”. It’s a few RSS men who occupy front seats in his rallies and shout Modi, Modi which he is reading as voice of masses”. “If election is held in the country today BJP would draw a nought,” the RJD chief said.Prasad said that the saffron party would bite dust in Uttar Pradesh poll. “BJP ka koi ata-pata nahin rahega Uttar Pradesh ke chunav mein (BJP will be no nowhere in UP polls),” he said.The RJD chief predicted victory for Samajwadi Party in UP and said like in Bihar he and other leaders from the state would campaign for Mulayam Singh Yadav party to ensure its victory in UP. Asked if family feud in SP would mar his chances in the election, Prasad who is related to Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family, dismissed it and said minor fight happens in every family.

Rahul’s attack on PM Modi loses edge as Sheila Dixit junks Sahara documents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Rahul Gandhi targeting the Prime Minister over ‘Sahara diaries’ bribery issue, a controversy erupted after Congress put out a list linked to it on Twitter in which a reference to its leader Sheila Dikshit also allegedly figured, prompting her to junk the documents. BJP immediately latched onto the issue, saying there cannot be double standards and that Rahul was “whipping a dead horse” as the apex court has already cleared the matter while parties like JD(U), RJD and NCP demanded that everyone mentioned in the diaries should be probed.Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who is also Congress’ chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, strongly denied the charges and trashed the documents, saying the Supreme Court has already made its observations on them.”There is no iota of truth in the allegations. I totally reject these allegations,” she said. Asked about Congress putting out the “list” publicly on its twitter handle, she told PTI, “It surprised me”. She, however, said she has nothing to do with the issue and refused to speak further saying the matter is sub-judice. Sources close to her said she may take up the matter with the party.”The list has so many names. Then why are you focusing on Sheila Dikshit. I don’t even remember anything like this. There are names of other chief ministers. Why don’t you talk about them? Why only Sheila Dikshit?” she said. BJP national Secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said, “There cannot be double standards but Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and their spokespersons are making stupid mistakes time and again. A horse has died and his death has been certified by the Supreme Court.”Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, he said the Congress leader “should have gained wisdom by now, he is no more a child”.JD(U) leader K C Tyagi said, “I want that the Sahara diaries should now be made public and all the people named in it should be questioned.””There are accusations against Sheila Dikshit, Raman Singh and Shivraj (Singh Chouhan) and some other leaders that they have received money from Sahara and that is why we demand that the entire list should be made public,” he alleged.RJD leader Manoj Kumar said irrespective of who has been named in the list, immediate action should be taken and a probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court ordered.”Because we don’t want to target an individual, rather we don’t want the Prime Minister’s position losing its credibility in front of the entire world and this is our priority,” he said.Majeed Memon of NCP said, “It does not matter if the person is from Congress or BJP or is a PM or a former CM. “If someone has committed a crime and he/she is being accused, then he/she should be dealt with in accordance with the law.” Just days earlier, Rahul Gandhi had alleged that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups and demanded an independent inquiry into it, a charge rejected by BJP.The ruling party had said that the “baseless, false, shameful and mala fide” allegations were an attempt to divert attention from the AgustaWestland probe as names of Congress leaders and the “family” are coming up.

Lalu Yadav backs Rahul Gandhi, demands SC-monitored probe against PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav has backed Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s assertion that corporates paid crores as bribes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2013-14 and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the same.Lalu said that Prime Minister Modi, who is now completely trapped, owes an explanation to the nation.”Rahul Gandhi has alleged Aditya Birla and Sahara Group had given Rs. 40 crores to Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister is completely trapped and now he will have to give an explanation. If any BJP spokesperson comes up with justification on his behalf then that would be unfair,” he added.The RJD chief further stated that the Congress vice-president wouldn’t have made such allegations against the Prime Minister without any proof.”Without proof, Rahul Gandhi won’t say this…or any leader won’t accuse the Prime Minister of this. It proves that the Prime Minister was involved in corruption. I demand a Supreme Court-monitored probe in this regard,” he added.Speaking in Gujarat’s Mehsana yesterday, Gandhi alleged that in the records with the Income Tax, there were notings of Sahara officials? claims that they paid Prime Minister Modi nine times between October 2013 and February 2014 and that the total amount was Rs. 40 crore.He also alleged that according to documents with the IT department, the Birla Group too paid Rs. 12 crore to the Prime Minister.Seeking an independent inquiry, Gandhi said that he was raising the issue ‘on behalf of the country’.

Case against Shahabuddin: BJP questions Nitish Kumar government’s seriousness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi today questioned the Nitish Kumar government’s seriousness in pursuing the case against Mohammad Shahabuddin saying how can an additional standing counsel of the state in the Supreme Court assist the controversial RJD leader in the apex court.”How come Mohammad Shoib Alam, who is Additional Standing Counsel of the state in the Supreme Court, is AOR (Advocate on Record) of Mohammad Shahabuddin in the apex court?” Sushil Modi asked in a statement issued here.”How come Alam is opposing the state and assisting senior advocate Shekhar Nafde who is arguing for Shahabuddin in a case seeking his transfer to Tihar jail from Siwan where he is lodged at present?” he asked.Modi alleged that “on the one hand the state government is helping Shahabuddin and on the other hand it is enacting a drama in the Supreme Court by opposing the RJD strongman there”.He attributed this to RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s “pressure” in favour of Shahabuddin, four times MP from that party in the past, on the grand alliance ministry in which his party is a major partner.Modi, who is a former deputy chief minister of the state, sought to know from Nitish why the state did not take any step by appealing for transfer of Shahabuddin to Tihar jail from Siwan and reopening hearing in cases stranded for past three years.

Six pilots suspended over TMC chief Mamata Banerjee’s flight controversy

Six pilots who had reported fuel shortage when TMC head Mamata Banerjee was on board the flight 6E 342, from IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India were suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Tuesday, according to a report by The Times of India. However, according to ANI, IndiGo Airlines have said that the pilots operating flight 6E 342 have been kept off flying duties till investigations and discussions with DGCA are complete.

Allegedly, the regulatory action was a ‘strict’ warning to airlines to refrain from cutting any corners, especially in winter when visibility is low, according to the same Times of India report.

The inquiry conducted by the regulator was supported by the IndiGo safety department, the IndiGo airline has said, adding that as an airline it always complies with the DGCA guidelines.  According to the airline, the IndiGo captain had followed all SOPs as laid by the regulator and at no stage the captain declared a fuel priority or an emergency.

A private airline plane carrying the Bengal Chief Minister hovered for over half an hour in the city sky before landing at the NSCBI Airport in Kolkata on 30 November, prompting Trinamool Congress to allege that it was a conspiracy to eliminate the party supremo.

“This is nothing but a conspiracy to kill our chief minister as she has raised voice against demonetisation and is touring the country to organise a mass movement against the anti-people decision,” said Senior Trinamool Congress leader and state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, who was accompanying Banerjee in the flight. The issue was also later raised in the parliament, turning it into a political row.

“The flight took off from Patna at 7.35 pm, an hour behind schedule, and landed in Kolkata shortly before 9 pm, after hovering over 30 minutes in the sky due to technical reasons,” airport officials said, adding that such an incident was nothing new in any airport.

However, Hakim alleged:”The pilot sought permission for landing from the (Air Traffic Control) ATC as the plane was flying short on fuel but the ATC kept the flight on hold,” also claiming that even as the pilot announced 180 km away from Kolkata that the plane would land within five minutes, it ultimately touched down after over half an hour,” seriously inconveniencing the chief minister and other passengers”. But when contacted, a senior ATC official said he was not aware of such incident.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

On 1 December, IndiGo said that the plane was delayed due to congestion before making a normal landing and that the fuel on arrival was more than the minimum diversion fuel and there has been no violation of regulatory requirements.

In a detailed statement, IndiGo said that the flight 6E 342 with 174 passengers on board, made a “normal landing” at Kolkata airport and that its captain did not declare a fuel priority or an emergency, though there was some misunderstanding between the Air Traffic Controller and the pilot. “The flight was kept on hold for landing due to air traffic congestion at Kolkata. The pilot operating 6E 342 had advised the ATC that he has eight minutes of extra holding fuel over Kolkata (destination) before commencing diversion to the planned alternative (airport). However, this information was misunderstood by the Air Traffic Controller who assumed that the aircraft had only eight minutes of total fuel left,” it said. It went on to say that this misinterpretation led the ATC to instruct fire engines and ambulances to be stationed at the airport, clarifying that the IndiGo captain at no stage declared a fuel priority or an emergency.

When TMC raised the issue in both houses of the Parliament, the government denied any designs by saying that at the same time as Banerjee’s flight reported low on fuel, two other flights of Air India and SpiceJet also called in with the same problem. Other opposition members, including Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati, Janata Dal United’s Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Prem Chand Gupta, Communist Party of India-Marxist’s TK Rangarajan, Trichuri Shiva of AIADMK and Rajiv Shukla of the Congress demanded a thorough inquiry in the matter and tabling of the report in the Rajya Sabha. But Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said as per the “facts”, all laid down procedures and regulations were followed by the ATC and assured the upper house that a probe will be conducted and its report tabled.

Even in the Lok Sabha, TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay had raised the issue alleging that the Air Traffic Control (ATC) delayed giving the green signal to land despite the pilot pointing out that the plane was running out of fuel. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju, however refuted the claim and announced that the DGCA has ordered a probe into the matter to find out how three flights at the same time could fly low on fuel into Kolkata when the norms mandated them to carry enough fuel enabling them to hover for 30-40 minutes, as well as to reach the nearest diversion airport, which in this case would be Bhubaneshwar.

With inputs form agencies

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 13:33 IST

Kashmir unrest: We need to listen to people like Omar Abdullah, says RJD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has agreed with former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah view that Pakistan can’t be blamed for the unrest in the Kashmir Valley, saying that people like him need to be listened to with bit more understanding.”I think we need to listen to people like Omar Abdullah with little bit of understanding, setting aside some of the phrases which have been used by him. What is the essence of his statement; that we should not stop the conversation process in the valley and should continue engaging. And that was the mandate of the all party delegation,” RJD leader Manoj Jha.Jha asserted that no major political party has ever deferred from the position of the security establishment and alleged that the Centre and the state government of blocking the dialogue process with the people of the Kashmir Valley.”If you don?t talk to the people in the valley, then how will you resolve this issue? Pakistan is a kind of menace we have been fighting and, I think, governments prior to the present regime have fought much more vehemently without making much noise,” Jha said.Abdullah on Saturday had criticised the Centre for failing to take concrete measures to curb the unrest in Kashmir post the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani and said that it would be a “grave mistake” to always blame Pakistan and turning a blind eye to internal issues.”Simply blaming Pakistan for the present situation, then, it would mean that we don’t have to do anything to prevent the unrest, which I think would be a grave mistake. We need to have talks internally, we need to solve this political crisis and until we are conscious of this reality, I don’t think we can take any concrete action,” Omar told reporters here.Omar’s remarks came days after he reprimanded incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for the prolonged unrest in Kashmir and asked the latter to take responsibility for the same.

Demonetization: In Patna, Mamata calls Nitish Kumar a traitor; says country in a state of ‘super emergency’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday called Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a ‘traitor’ for deserting the anti-demonetization camp. She alleged that the country was in a state of ‘super emergency’ due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy of banning high currency notes. Mamata, who was addressing a rally in Patna to demand rollback of Centre’s decision on demonetization, said financial emergency is worse than any emergency in the country where the government has even snatched the basic “roti, kapda and makaan” from citizens. Apparently miffed at Nitish, who is also the JD (U) president, for not participating in the Opposition’s anti-demonetization protests, Mamata said, “It is better for all parties to fight together. Lekin jo gaddari karega, janata use maaf nahi karegi (those who betray the cause will not be forgiven by the people).” The Bihar CM has supported demonetization since the beginning saying it will help in tackling black money menace. He has asked his party workers to stay away from any protests against demonetizations.In contrast, JD (U)’s ally and senior alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Lalu Prasad has opposed the demonetization policy due to the ‘inconvenience being caused to common man.’ RJD’s support was appreciated by Mamata several times during her speech. “I respect Lalu ji, because his party is with us in this fight against demonetization. In UP too, Akhilesh and Mulayam ji were with us. This is people’s battle not my individual one,” she said Mamata said she was happy for those who were with her. “I won’t take names, but I feel unhappy about those who are not with us,” said Mamata.

Mamata flight hovers in sky, TMC claims conspiracy to kill Bengal CM for protesting against demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A private airline plane carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hovered for over half an hour in the Kolkata sky before landing at the NSCBI Airport here on Wednesday night, prompting Trinamool Congress to allege that it was a conspiracy to eliminate the party supremo.”The flight took off from Patna at 7.35 PM, an hour behind schedule, and landed here at shortly before 9 PM, after hovering over 30 minutes in the sky due to technical reasons,” airport officials said, adding that such incident was nothing new in any airport. Senior Trinamool Congress leader and state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, who was accompanying Banerjee in the flight, however, took strong exception to “delayed permission from the ATC” for the flight to land and alleged that it was a conspiracy to eliminate the CM.Hakim claimed that even as the pilot announced 180 km away from Kolkata that the plane would land within five minutes, it ultimately touched down after over half an hour, “seriously inconveniencing the chief minister and other passengers”. “The pilot sought permission for landing from the ATC as the plane was flying short on fuel but the ATC kept the flight on hold,” he alleged. “This is nothing but a conspiracy to kill our chief minister as she has raised voice against demonetization and is touring the country to organise a mass movement against the anti-people decision,” Hakim said.When contacted, a senior ATC official said he was not aware of such incident. Mamata terms demonetization decision as ‘super Emergency’Stepping up her attack on the Centre over demonetization, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today dubbed the drive as “super Emergency” and vowed to agitate against it till a rollback of the decision.”The government has taken away the freedom from the people that they have been enjoying for the past 69 years. The government has snatched ‘Roti, Kapda aur Makan’ from the people… A people’s movement was started during the Emergency days… Today, the situation is even worse than Emergency, it can be termed as super Emergency,” the Trinamool Congress supremo said.”People are facing difficulties and inconveniences.They (NDA Government) have sold the country. It is the duty of political parties to raise their voice for the people and we will continue with our agitation till the government takes a decision to roll back the demonetization move,” she said. Mamata was addressing a gathering here in the course of her party’s nationwide campaign against demonetization. Raising the the issue of funding of PM Modi’s public meetings in foreign countries, she asked “From where do they get money to hold such mega public meetings in foreign countries like the US?”.She also raised issue of registration of land by BJP in Bihar for opening offices in districts and displaying deed numbers of land purchased by the BJP, questioned the PM’s intentions as to how could BJP buy huge chunks of land in the month of September, a few weeks before the announcement of demonetization on November 8. Without naming anyone, Banerjee said, “If someone comes with us, then it is good. But, it certainly pains us if someone is not with us in the struggle for common people. This is people’s cause. People will not forgive ‘gaddars’ (betrayers).”Mamata, who arrived in the state capital yesterday, also met RJD chief Lalu Prasad at the latter’s residence. The ruling JD(U) has already made it clear that it would not be present at Banerjee’s agitation programme in the light of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s support to demonetization. Questioning Modi’s poll promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh to every individual’s bank account from money stashed away illegally, Banerjee said, “What happened to the promise? Not a single paise came to anyone’s account nor any single paise was brought from the Swiss bank.” Lalu Prasad and his RJD have also been from time and again questioning the fate of this promise.”Entire industry sector and economy are witnessing a slowdown due to demonetization as a result of which people, mostly from Bihar who have migrated everywhere in search of jobs, are not getting their payments, especially in the jute industry and tea gardens in Bengal,” Banerjee said. Displaying two new notes of Rs 500 denomination having some dissimilar features, she alleged it smacked of a “big scam”.”The prime minister painted everyone as having black money, even those who file IT returns and pay taxes,” she said adding “The PM also disrespected the ‘stree shakti’ (women power) and ‘stree-dhan’ (women wealth).” In order to buttress her point that majority of people still rely on cash transactions in the absence of banking facilities, the TMC chief gave figures of availability of bank branches saying, of the 8,400 gram panchayats in Bihar, 5,000 panchayats do not have branches of any bank.After the programme was over and Mamata left the venue, senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh told reporters, “Nitish Kumar should not have supported the Centre’s decision of demonetization. It creates doubt among the people whether everything was fine in the grand secular alliance.” “There is no unanimity in the JD(U) itself on demonetization as Sharad Yadav, former JD(U) president, is saying something different while Nitish is supporting demonetization,” he said.Singh and party state unit chief Ramchandra Purbe, a few leaders of the Bihar unit of Samajwadi Party and Jan Adikar Party of Pappu Yadav along with TMC’s senior leader Mukul Roy were present on the dais.

Manoj Tiwari, Nityanand Rai appointed BJP’s Delhi and Bihar unit presidents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday appointed party MPs Manoj Tiwari and Nityanand Rai as party’s Delhi and Bihar unit presidents respectively.While Tiwari replaces Satish Upadhyay, Rai replaces Mangal Pandey. Their tenures were long over and new appointments were awaited for the past few months.Rai is a Yadav, a community over which RJD chief Lalu Prasad has a strong hold.His appointment is seen as an effort by the BJP to go beyond the upper castes, its traditional voters, and reach out to the OBCs in the caste-conscious state where it lost to JDU-RJD combine in the last assembly polls.

Nitish should rethink alliance with RJD and Congress: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s claims that attempts were being made to “politically assassinate” him by spreading “rumours” of his increasing proximity with BJP has raked up a political war of words in the state, where the winter session of the legislature is currently underway. The Opposition BJP hit back at Nitish saying he never had to mention “political murder” during his 17 years association with the saffron party. “When Nitish was with us, his political career didn’t end. In fact, his stature grew. He was most comfortable with the BJP either as the Union Railways Minister or as the Bihar CM. But, ever since he is with Lalu Prasad, Nitish’s stature has gone down. If he continues to work with them for some more time, his political career will surely end,” said former deputy CM and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday. The Bihar unit of the saffron party, however, seemed to be warming up to Nitish with his former deputy Modi as well as BJP spokesperson Vinod Narayan Jha advising Nitish to “rethink” about his alliance with the RJD and Congress. The statement comes in the backdrop of BJP president Amit Shah and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan praising Nitish for his pro-demonetization stand.“Nitish Kumar talks of action against corruption and black money. But, no Chief Minister can tackle corruption while being in alliance with RJD and Congress. He should rethink about it,” Modi said, terming the seven years of NDA rule in Bihar under Nitish Kumar as the state’s “golden era”. Reacting to queries of “Modi inviting Nitish back to the NDA”, former chief minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s better half Rabri Devi kicked off another controversy when she said “Nitish Kumar ko utha ke le jaye Modi ji… le jaye behen se apni shaadi kara lein (Modi can take Nitish Kumar and get him married to his sister).” Rabri later clarified to media persons that she had made the statement in a lighter vein. “Media wale bole Sushil Kumar Modi kahe hain Nitish Kumar RJD chhor BJP aajaye, hum bole Modi ji Nitish ko utha lejaaye. Par isme kya aapatti ki baat hai? Thoda hassi mazzak karliya to kya? Sabhi karte hain na?” she told reporters. RJD MLA Bhai Virendra told reporters the elder partner in the Mahagathbandhan had given Nitish “a new life” by handing him the reins of the state.Meanwhile, Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Choudhary reacted to BJP’s allegation that Nitish’s political murder will be due to his alliance with the RJD and Congress, and said, “Sau chuhe khakar, BJP chali haj ko”. It may be mentioned that Nitish, after addressing JD (U)’s legislature party meeting late on Monday evening, had said, he supported demonetization but that did not mean that he was re-uniting with the BJP and that some people were plotting for his political murder by spreading such lies.

Demonetisation: BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi asks Nitish Kumar to review ties with Congress, RJD

Patna: With the political pot on the boil in Bihar since Chief Minister Nitish Kumar supported the Centre’s demonetisation move despite protests by allies, BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday asked him to review ties with RJD and Congress and said his party would consider any proposal of realignment from JD(U).

Reacting to Kumar’s comment on Monday that efforts were on for a long time to end his political career, Modi said it would “definitely” happen if he continued to stay with RJD and Congress.

“If you (Kumar) stay with Lalu Prasad and Congress you will definitely be killed politically,” he told reporters.

Hailing the JD(U) National President for supporting demonetisation, he said, “Any campaign against black money and corruption is not possible in the company of RJD and Congress.”

File photo of Sushil Kumar Modi. PTI

File photo of Sushil Kumar Modi. PTI

“RJD is known for its corrupt practices while the Congress rule was marred with scams,” said Modi, the Parliamentary board chief of Bihar unit of BJP.

He alleged that due to the alliance with RJD and Congress, Kumar’s effective step against corruption through Special Court Act which has provision for confiscation of property of a guilty has “slowed down”.

Asked if there is any chance of reunion of JD(U) and BJP, the Leader of Opposition in Bihar Legislative Council was quick to say: “If a proposal comes from JD(U), the party would consider.”

“After all Nitish Kumar stayed with BJP for 17 years and this was ‘golden period’ for Bihar,” Modi, who was the deputy chief minister during the NDA rule in the state, said and added Kumar’s image got a boost during the time.

“Politics is a game of possibilities…You never know when who goes with whom in politics,” he added.

He, however, feigned ignorance about media reports of Kumar meeting BJP President Amit Shah and talking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his support for demonetisation.

“These are high level issues to which I have no access,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi took a swipe at Sushil Modi for his comments.

“If (Sushil) Modi wants he can take Kumar home on his lap,” she told reporters emerging from the Legislative Council after it adjourned for the day.

Kumar had led JD(U) to severe ties with BJP in June 2013 after 17 years over elevation of Narendra Modi as PM candidate. He joined hands with RJD and Congress before the Bihar polls last year and romped back to power.

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 16:57 IST

Bandh against demonetization evokes mixed reaction in Bihar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>the nationwide strike call against demonetization evoked mixed reaction in Bihar where workers of RJD, Congress and Left parties disrupted train services at many places but offices and schools registered normal attendance.The protest had its echo in both Houses of the Bihar legislature where legislators of Congress, RJD and CPI-ML raised slogans against scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. BJP legislators countered them by raising slogans against them and in favour of demonetization. JD(U), a member of the ruling alliance, kept away from the stir in view of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s consistent support to demonetization of high value notes to fight black money in the economy. Congress, RJD and CPI-ML took out a protest march on the streets of Patna and stalled traffic movement at some places.Road traffic was, however, normal and attendance in offices, banks and schools and colleges remained by and large unaffected.Train services were hit at Darbangha, Madhubani, Masauri in rural Patna, Ara, Jehanabad and other places. Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of East Central Railway Arvind Kumar Rajak said running of more than a dozen trains was disrupted in different parts of Bihar due to the stir. In Darbhanga, Ara, Masaurhi and Madhubani, CPI workers squatted on railway tracks.Outside Bihar Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, bandh supporters from RJD, Congress and CPI-ML, holding placards in their hands, shouted slogans at the entrance gate. BJP MLAs led by leader of opposition Prem Kumar countered them by raising slogans in favour of demonetization.

Demonetization: Opposition MPs protests outside Parliament

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing concern over the plight of common man, MPs of various opposition parties led by Rahul Gandhi on Monday staged a protest against the government on the demonetization issue in front of Parliament as part of the ‘Jan Aakrosh Divas’ observed across the country.However, no MP from Trinamool Congress, JD(U), SP and BSP, BJD were seen at the joint Opposition dharna outside Parliament though they raised their voices against the move in the House.Besides the Congress vice-president, many senior party leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Veerappa Moily along with JP Yadav of RJD, Supriya Sule of NCP, Kanimozhi of DMK and Mohd Salim of CPI(M) participated in the protest near Gandhi statute.Raising slogans, the MPs demanded steps to ease the problems being faced by the people due to the demonetization drive. “There is anger against demonetization which is reflecting from Parliament to street. In the name of fighting black money, poor have been made to suffer while rich people have been let off,” RJD MP JP Yadav alleged.Congress leader Moily termed the Modi government’s move was a “fake fight and not a genuine fight against black money. Black money is a cause of corruption. But where is the fight against corruption? What happened to Lokpal?” he asked and added the money in circulation cannot be called black money. “We are interested in discussion. PM must come to the House to explain,” he said.Scindia said, “It has happened for the first time in the world that one cannot draw one’s own money. So we are raising the common man’s voice outside and inside Parliament.” Asked about parties holding protests separately, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, “There is no division among opposition. All parties may march separately but they are striking together. Parliament is not functioning because PM is no coming to the House.”

Nitish supports demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as allies Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress gear up for November 28 demonstrations against big note ban, Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) President Nitish Kumar remains vocal in his support for demonetization terming PM Narendra Modi’s ‘courageous’ move ‘in the interest of the nation’.Nitish has backed demonetization at various private and public events and on Saturday, the Bihar CM said his stand on the issue is a principled one. “I believe note ban has stopped several fraudulent practices. It is my personal view and I support any action against black money or corruption. This is also the opportune time for hitting at ‘benami properties’ to check black money and I request the PM to take quick action in the matter,” Nitish said.His statements, however, left his party colleagues in Delhi red faced, especially after former JD (U) president Sharad Yadav was seen rubbing shoulders with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee in the Parliament last week to oppose note ban decision.In Bihar too, Nitish’s party, which has distanced itself November 28 demonstrations against demonetization, stands divided from alliance partners RJD and Congress, both of which have scheduled large scale protests across the state on Monday. RJD president Lalu Prasad had termed the move “farjical strike” (fake strike) after it was being called a surgical strike on black money. Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Ashok Choudhary too has said his party was ready to withdraw from the coalition on the note ban issue if the high command ordered so.The Bihar CM is also unlikely to participate in Mamata’s November 30 demonstration in Patna though RJD supremo Lalu Prasad may share the dais.Political commentators feel Nitish’s pro-demonetization stand and “inclination” towards the BJP may be due to several reasons – “his difficult equations with majority partner RJD in Bihar, Mamata trying to project a pan-India leader image after her thumping return in West Bengal and Nitish’s unsuccessful efforts in forging any major anti-BJP front in Uttar Pradesh.”While Nitish’s recent support for PM Modi was being seen in the backdrop of reports of him meeting BJP president Amit Shah, the Bihar CM rubbished it as a figment of media’s imagination saying he has not met Shah as has been reported by a section of the media. Incidentally, Shah on Sunday welcomed Nitish’s support for demonetization and thanked him for standing by PM Modi in his fight against black money.”I always do what I feel is correct but people try to infer political meaning in it,” Nitish said. Replying to Mamata’s allegations that Nitish may be supporting demonetization under some “political compulsion”, he said, “What compulsions will I have? I had even supported Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature for President when I was an NDA constituent.”

Rape accused RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav to remain in jail after SC cancels bail plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled the bail of Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav, who was accused of raping a minor girl.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Abhay Manohar Sapre asked whether Yadav was already “released” following the bail granted by Patna High Court earlier. When the apex court was informed that he was not released, the bench said: “Let him remain in jail.”

Raj Ballabh Yadav. Pradesh18.comRaj Ballabh Yadav.

Raj Ballabh Yadav.

The court order came as it allowed the Bihar government’s plea challenging the bail.

The girl, a resident of Rahui in Nalanda, was allegedly raped by Raj Ballabh on 6 February at his Bihar Sharif residence, around 70 km from Patna. The Times of India reported that the Nalanda police had filed an FIR only in April and Raj Ballabh was named as the key accused. The police chargesheet also names a woman and her relatives for allegedly supplying girls to the RJD lawmaker. RJD then suspended the accused from party membership a day after his arrest.

Ahead of the hearing against his bail plea in the Supreme Court, Raj Ballabh called upon Lalu Prasad Yadav in October, saying that he had no grudge against the state government. He also maintained that there was no serious charge against him and “no FIR or statement of the victim under 164 CRPC against me”.

The third term RJD MLA was suspended from the party in the wake of the rape allegation against him.

The minor girl, however, expressed concern for her and her family’s safety, as the Bihar government in October appealed against the bail order in the Supreme Court. “He [Yadav] is out of jail… I am scared and afraid for my family. What will happen to them? I am already dead after what happened to me. I have nothing more to lose,” said the Nalanda schoolgirl in a WhatsApp message to reporters.

The Supreme Court on 24 October rejected a plea by Raj Ballabh to remain outside Bihar, favouring that the RJD legislator should remain in jail till the victim records her statement “fairly and without any fear”.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Nov 24, 2016 12:50 IST

Minor girl rape case: SC cancels bail granted to suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled the bail granted by Patna High Court to suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav in rape case of a minor girl.The Bihar Government had challenged the bail granted Yadav.Earlier, following the Supreme Court’s orders, Raj Ballabh, who is accused of raping a minor, had surrendered before the Bihar Sharif court.In April, Yadav was named as one of the main accused in a charge-sheet filed by Nalanda Police, after he allegedly raped a minor girl at his residence on February 6th, following which he was immediately suspended by the party.After absconding for almost one month, Yadav had surrendered in March before a chief magistrate’s court in Bihar Sharif in Nalanda and was sent to jail.However, he was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 30, which the opposition used to criticize the state government for not placing facts against the RJD MLA before the Patna High Court.Yadav, an MLA from Nawada assembly constituency, was suspended by the RJD after he was booked in the rape case on February 6.

Over 93% support demonetization on NaMo app, PM Modi thanks people for ‘historic participation’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 93 per cent of the five lakh people who participated in a survey on Narendra Modi App have supported demonetization, the PMO said today a day after the Prime Minister sought public feedback on the issue. “I thank people for the historic participation in the survey. It’s satisfying to read the insightful views & comments,” the Prime Minister tweeted along with the results of the survey conducted on Narendra Modi App. “Unprecedented response to App Survey, record number of citizens share their view,” said the title of a write-up on whose link was shared by the Prime Minister on his twitter account. The survey result was read out by IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at Cabinet meeting this evening, prompting the Prime Minister to say that it “reflects the mood” of the people. In just over 24 hours of the survey, more than 5 lakh people have participated and expressed their opinion, it said, adding “This is a staggering number by any stretch. No opinion survey conducted in India, on such policy or political issues, even comes close to sampling so many responses.” More than 93 per cent people support the move to demonetize the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes, it said. Of the over 5 lakh responses so far, only 2 per cent have rated the move as ‘very poor’ or ‘one star’, the survey result said. More than 90 per cent of the respondents feel the government s move to tackle black money is above four-star rating, the survey result says. 73 per cent of them give it five-star rating of ‘brilliant’. On the overall fight against corruption, more than 92 per cent of respondents either rate the government as ‘very good’ or ‘good’ while 57 per cent of them rate the fight as ‘very good’. “As high as 86 per cent people believe that some so- called anti-corruption activists are now actually batting in support of black money, corruption and even terrorist financing!”, the write-up said. Expressing his gratitude to the nation for its ‘historic participation’ in a survey on demonetization, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said it’s satisfying to read the insightful views and comments. ‘I thank people for the historic participation in the survey. It’s satisfying to read the insightful views & comments.,’ Prime Minister Modi tweeted. Prime Minister Modi urged the nation to share the first-hand views on the demonetization move by taking part in the survey on ‘NM’ Application . ‘I want your first-hand view on the decision taken regarding currency notes. Take part in the survey on the NM App.,’ Prime Minister Modi tweeted.Addressing the BJP parliamentary party meeting yesterday, the Prime Minister said the demonetization of high value currency is just a beginning of his government’s deep and continuous struggle against black money, adding such types of action will be continued to make India an honest economy.Asserting that this decision is in the interest of poor and middle class, he said that his government is dedicated to eradicate the evils of black money and corruption, which have affected the people in the last 70 years.The Parliament was today adjourned for the day following uproar over demonetization issue.When the House reassembled at noon after first adjournment, the opposition members including Congress, TMC, Left and RJD demanded discussion on the issue under relevant rule which entails voting.A united opposition today staged a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament against the demonetization of high value currency notes.The major parties, which participated in the protest, are Congress, BSP, JD(U), TMC, AIADMK, NCP, Left, RJD and the Samajwadi Party. The MPs raised slogans and displayed posters against demonetization.

SC reserves order in plea challenging bail to rape accused RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the plea of the Bihar Government challenging the bail granted to rape accused RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav by the Bihar High Court.A bench of the Apex Court headed by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and also comprising Justice Abhay M Sapre reserved its order on the issue. Earlier, following the Supreme Court’s orders, Raj Ballabh, who is accused of raping a minor, surrendered on Wednesday before the Bihar Sharif court. In April, Yadav was named as one of the main accused in a charge-sheet filed by Nalanda Police, after he allegedly raped a minor girl at his residence on February 6th, following which he was immediately suspended by the party. After absconding for almost one month, Yadav had surrendered in March before a chief magistrate’s court in Bihar Sharif in Nalanda and was sent to jail.However, he was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 30, which the opposition used to criticize the state government for not placing facts against the RJD MLA before the Patna High Court. Yadav, an MLA from Nawada assembly constituency, was suspended by the RJD after he was booked in the rape case on February 6.

SC asks rape accused RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav to surrender tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended Patna High Court order granting bail to suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav in rape case, and asked him to surrender by Wednesday in Bihar lower court.Raj Ballabh Yadav, is facing trial in a case for allegedly raping a minor girl early this year.The next hearing will be on November 23.Bihar government had urged the court to stay the high court order granting bail to Yadav in October saying the court had erred in granting bail to Yadav in a heinous case like this. But the The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the government’s plea.Yadav had allegedly raped the minor girl at his residence in Biharsharif on February 6 this year. After evading arrest for a considerable time, he surrendered after a local court issue proclamation notice and an order to attach his properties for not surrendering before the police.The Bihar Police, in its charge sheet, has also named a woman and her relatives as accused on the ground that they had been allegedly supplying women to the suspended RJD MLA representing Nawada Assembly constituency. The RJD suspended Yadav from the party on February 14, a day after his arrest warrant was issued.

SC recuses judge in Shahabuddin case, hearing to take place after four weeks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday recused Justice Uday Umesh Lalit from hearing the case of former Mohammad Shahabuddin on ground that he had appeared as a lawyer for the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP once.The apex court is now likely to hear the matter after four weeks. Last month, the top court issued notice to Shahabuddin, the Bihar Government and the Centre seeking their reply to shift the former from Siwan district jail in Bihar to Tihar jail in Delhi . The hearing of the case was scheduled to be held on November 28.Slain journalist Rajdeo Ranjan’s widow Asha Ranjan had filed a plea in the apex court seeking to shift Shahabuddin from the Siwan to the Tihar jail so that witnesses in her husband’s murder case are not influenced. Hearing Asha Ranjan’s plea earlier on October 17, an apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Mishra had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete the murder probe within three months.The apex court also issued notices and sought responses from Shahabuddin and Bihar Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav. During the last hearing, Tej Pratap had admitted that he had accepted a bouquet from one of the murder accused, but denied his involvement in the murder.42-year old Ranjan, the bureau chief of The Hindustan, was shot dead in July this year at Phal Mandi near the Siwan railway station, barely half-a-kilometer from the police station. The Bihar Government has recommended the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) probe into the case.The case came into limelight again after a photograph appeared in the media showing murder suspects Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed with gangster-politician Mohammed Shahabuddin after his release from jail.Kaif, however, later rubbished all accusations against him and said he has no involvement in Rajdeo’s murder case Meanwhile, a separate petition filed by Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons had been murdered at the behest of the RJD leader.Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan.

UP polls 2017: Prashant Kishor meets Mulayam Singh Yadav amid speculations of ‘maha-gathbandhan’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress’ poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Sunday met Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam in Lucknow, triggering speculation of a ‘maha-gathbandhan’ (grand alliance) ahead of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.The marathon meeting, spread over two sessions and kept under wraps, came a day after top leaders of socialist-leaning parties attended SP’s silver jubilee meet here — a move seen as an attempt by Mulayam to forge an alliance ahead of the assembly polls hardly a few months away. There was no official word from either side as to what transpired at the meeting.State SP President Shivpal Yadav said he would tell the media when such a development took place.”When it materialises, I will tell you,” Shivpal said. This is for the second time in six days that Kishor met Mulayam, who is trying to cobble together an alliance of like-minded parties. The first meeting took place at Mulayam’s Delhi residence on November 1.Samajwadi Party, which was initially part of Bihar’s grand alliance, had walked out of it after it was offered only a handful of seats to contest the assembly elections there. The grand alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress had, however, scripted a glorious electoral victory, defeating the BJP-led NDA.The ruling SP is yet to open its cards though its main aim in the polls is to prevent split of Muslim votes for which it is looking for an alliance with secular parties. Congress, on its part, has not closed its doors for any possible grand alliance for the 2017 Assembly polls.But, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar has said that no initiative has been taken for an alliance either by his party or by any other political parties in the state.”No initiative for an alliance, either by us or by any other party in the coming polls has been taken, but Congress has not closed its doors for any such possibility which could benefit people of the state,” he had said on Friday.The UPCC chief, however, stressed his party “will not enter into an alliance or grand alliance only for numbers, as numbers were not important in UP polls.”At SP’s anniversary bash on Saturday, leaders of erstwhile ‘Janata Parivar’ underscored the need for unity to prevent the “communal” BJP from coming to power and spoke about the need for forging a coalition. RJD supremo Lalu Prasad declared his party will not contest the UP elections to prevent a split of secular votes. JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav hinted at his party’s readiness to form a coalition of socialist parties, while RLD chief Ajit Singh, whose party wields influence in western UP, highlighted the need for unity.Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, whose JD(Secular) hardly has any stakes in UP or the Hindi heartland, urged the ‘Janata Parivar’ leaders to “come together and unite” against the “communal” forces.”Senior leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Sharad Yadav…should come together in the fight against communal forces,” Deve Gowda had said.Six offshoots of ‘Janata Parivar’ had merged together last year ahead of the Assembly elections in Bihar to form a new party to take on a resurgent BJP. The merger took place almost two decades after the then Janata Dal disintegrated in the 90s.

Lalu Prasad to attend Samajwadi Party foundation day event, Nitish Kumar to give it a miss

Patna: While RJD President Lalu Prasad has confirmed participation in the Samajwadi Party foundation day function on 5 November at Lucknow, JD(U) on Tuesday made it clear that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would not be able to make it to the programme.

File photo of Lalu Prasad Yadav. AFP

File photo of Lalu Prasad Yadav. AFP

Absence of Nitish Kumar would dent Mulayam Singh Yadav‘s efforts to cobble up a broad coalition of socialist and secular forces ahead of crucial Uttar Pradesh poll early next year by parading prominent leaders on one platform at SP’s 25th foundation day function.

Lalu’s close aide Bhola Yadav, MLA, on Tuesday confirmed RJD chief’s participation in the SP function at Lucknow.

Bihar JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh told PTI “there is fight within Samajwadi Party (SP) family and we do not want to be seen with any one side in this feud.”

JD(U) Secretary General K C Tyagi said party chief would not be able to make it to 5 November event at Lucknow due to Chhath festival.

“You know how important is Chhath festival for the people of Bihar…if he (Nitish Kumar) goes there leaving Chhath, BJP would attack him for not being with the people of the state on such a pious occasion,” Tyagi told PTI.

Asked while Lalu Prasad is going for SP event and absence of Nitish Kumar would trigger difference among them, Basistha Narayan Singh said “we have strong coalition of JD(U), RJD and Congress in Bihar, but it does not mean that the three should have similar point of view in other states.”

“Lalujee is related to Mulayam Singh Yadav‘s family and as such he has freedom to take his decision,” he said.

The JD(U) chief, however, did not miss the opportunity to express heartburn over the role played by Mulayam Singh Yadav and SP to foil merger of six parties of Janata Parivar earlier in which Nitish Kumar had played an important role.

“Nitish Kumar had made a sincere efforts for merger and everybody had agreed to merge under the leadership of Mulayam Singh Yadav, but it did not succeed the reasons for which is known to everyone,” he said.

“Today’s circumstance is different,” he said in an oblique reference to soaring popularity graph of Nitish Kumar after Bihar victory due to which he is considered as a potent candidate for Prime Ministerial post in 2019 Lok Sabha poll.

Recently, Nitish Kumar at JD(U) National Council meet at Rajgir had made an overture to UP CM Akhilesh Yadav to enforce prohibition which would help him come out of “shadow of family” and also help win poll himself. Kumar had also pledged support to young UP CM in such a condition.

Samajwadi Party like feud brewing in Lalu Yadav’s family: Sushil Modi

Patna: Senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday claimed a Samajwadi Party-like feud is brewing within RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s family too which will “explode” any day.

“Lalu Prasad is trying to calm down the discontentment within his family. He has himself planted the seed of discontentment by breaking the age-old tradition as per which the eldest son is the successor to the throne…

RJD president Lalu Prasad. AFP.RJD president Lalu Prasad. AFP.

RJD president Lalu Prasad. AFP.

“But Lalu declared younger son Tejashwi as his heir by making him the Deputy Chief Minister over his eldest daughter (Misa Bharti) and elder son (Tej Pratap Yadav),” he claimed. “There is a cold war going on inside Prasad’s family at present. The discontentment in his family is not going to end and will explode any day,” Modi said.

He exhorted Lalu Prasad’s minister sons – Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav – to come out of their parents’ shadow and follow the path of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who stood against the merger of Mukhtar Ansari’s party Quami Ekta Dal into Samajwadi Party.

“Similarly, they (Tejashwi and Tej Pratap) should also oppose the presence of people like Mohammad Shahabuddin and Raj Ballabh Yadav, MLA charged with raping a minor girl, in RJD,” he said, adding, “This will help them in creating their own identities like Akhilesh Yadav.”

Lalu Prasad’s daughter is married to Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, the Mainpuri MP and the grandson of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Sushil Modi also claimed the two principal partners of the ruling grand secular alliance – JD(U) and RJD have “clashing interest” over the crisis within Samajwadi Party.

“JD(U) is happy over the incident in Uttar Pradesh as they want to see a split in Samajwadi Party. They are supporting Akhilesh Yadav indirectly so that they can have some kind of electoral adjustment there while RJD, the other partner of the grand alliance, is supporting Mulayam Singh Yadav,” the BJP leader claimed.

SC seeks Mohammad Shahabuddin’s reply on pleas for shifting to Tihar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from controversial RJD leader Shahabuddin, sent back to jail by the apex court, and Bihar government as to why he should not be shifted out of the state and kept in Tihar Jail from where trial in over 45 cases can be conducted through video conferencing.A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy granted four weeks to Shahabuddin and Bihar government to respond to two separate pleas filed by Siwan-based Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chanda Babu whose three sons were killed in two incidents and Asha Ranjan, wife of slain journalist Rajdev Ranjan.Rejecting Shahabuddin’s plea for grant of more time to file his response, the bench said “the concept of fair trial is not one-sided. You should be fair to other side also.” Senior advocate Dushayant Dave, appearing for one of the petitioners, said Shahabuddin should give an undertaking that he would “not commit any crime” during his stay in Siwan jail. The counsel for Shahabuddin vehemently opposed the plea and said that adequate time be given to him for filing reply.Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Chandrakeshwar Prasad, said trials in over 45 cases against Shahabuddin have been stayed after he filed an application that he has no money and be provided legal aid.Against this, Bihar government went in appeal in the Patna High Court and consequently, the proceedings were stayed. This is bizarre, Bhushan said.The lawyers also including Kislay Panday, appearing for the widow of the slain scribe, referred to a previous apex court order by which another Bihar muscle-man politician, Pappu Yadav alias Rajesh Ranjan, was shifted out of Bihar and kept in Tihar Jail in Delhi from where trial proceeded through video conferencing.Shahabuddin’s bail was cancelled by the apex court last week setting aside the Patna High Court order granting him bail in a murder case, saying the discretion to release him must be applied in “judicious manner” and “not as a matter of course”.Chanda Babu, whose three sons were killed in two separate incidents, alleged in his plea that Shahabuddin’s “confinement to the prisons of Bihar has failed to deter him in any manner as he has been abusing the rules and regulations of jail with impunity in collusion with the jail administrations”.”The Petitioner is an eye witness to the murder of his third son who has also got killed by Respondent No. 3 (Shahabuddin) as he was an eye-witness to the murder of his two brothers. The trial in the murder of third son is still pending,” the plea said.Prasad was also the petitioner on whose petition the apex court had cancelled the bail of Shahabuddin. His plea was also supported by Bihar government which had filed separate plea against the Patna High Court order granting bail. The other plea, filed by Asha Ranjan, has sought the transfer of the RJD leader to the Delhi jail.Earlier, the court had transferred the murder probe in the case of Rajdev Ranjan to CBI and asked it to conclude the investigation in three months. Ranjan, 42, a senior journalist working with a vernacular daily, was shot dead on the evening of July 22 in Siwan town in Bihar.

SC rejects plea for custody of suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav in rape case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Bihar government’s plea that suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav, accused in a rape case, be taken into custody so that the minor victim could testify before the trial court. A bench of Justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana however directed the trial court not to record the testimony of the minor rape survivor till October 24 after the state government submitted that she felt threatened with the MLA out on bail.Bihar government standing counsel Gopal Singh said the rape survivor has given a statement that she felt scared and threatened and cannot depose before the trial court. “He (Yadav) be taken into custody and let the evidence be recorded. The trial court could not give time as High Court has directed day-to-day trial,” Singh said.To this, the bench said that respondent Yadav needed time to reply to the plea and file some documents. “Till Monday (October 24) the trial court will not proceed with the deposition of the prosecutrix,” it said.Bihar government counsel said that security has been provided to the victim by the state but due to fear of the accused she was not able to go to court. Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra appearing for Yadav said since he received the notice only yesterday, he was not able to file the reply.The apex court had on October 7 sought response of suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav, who is facing trial in a case for allegedly raping a minor girl, on a plea by the Nitish Kumar government challenging the bail granted to him by the Patna High Court.Bihar government has urged the court to stay the high court order granting bail to Yadav saying the court had erred in granting bail to Yadav in a heinous case like this. Yadav had allegedly raped the minor girl at his residence in Biharsharif on February 6 this year. After evading arrest for a considerable time, he surrendered after a local court issue proclamation notice and an order to attach his properties for not surrendering before the police.The Bihar Police, in its charge sheet, has also named a woman and her relatives as accused on the ground that they had been allegedly supplying women to the suspended RJD MLA representing Nawada Assembly constituency. The RJD suspended Yadav from the party on February 14, a day after his arrest warrant was issued.

Lalu Prasad hails Army, flays BJP on surgical strikes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD President Lalu Prasad on Monday hailed the Army for its ‘successful’ surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) but mocked the NDA-led Central government for “trying to take credit” for it. “BJP is falsely trying to take credit of brave acts of the Indian Army (for the successful surgical strikes on the launch pads of terrorists in PoK),” he told mediapersons outside his wife Rabri Devi’s residence at 10 Circular road here before leaving for the last rites of socialist leader Ram Iqbal Worsi in Bhojpur district. “The Army is known for its valour and it has given befitting reply to Pakistan’s attempts to push terrorists into the country and would do so in future as well. I am sure if the need arises, our brave Army would do a major surgery like this in future also,” the RJD supremo said. Prasad dismissed opposition’s allegations of “rift” between him and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying, “There is a strong bond between me and Nitish Kumar.” Prasad and Kumar are known as ‘Bade bhai’ and ‘Chote bhai’ respectively in the political circles in the state.”I extended Durga puja greetings to Nitish Kumar yesterday. BJP is trying to create a rift between us but it is not possible … The coalition government in Bihar will continue to run successfully like it is doing now,” the RJD supremo added.

Bihar: Rape victim expresses fear over accused MLA’s release, state govt opposes bail

Patna: The minor girl, the victim in the alleged rape case in which suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav was released on bail recently, has expressed concern for her and her family’s safety even as the Bihar government on Wednesday appealed against the bail order in the Supreme Court.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. AFP

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. AFP

The girl has expressed her anxiety in a message to reporters, saying she and her family were “living in fear” after the release of Yadav.

“He (Yadav) is out of jail…I am scared and afraid for my family. What will happen to them? I am already dead after what happened to me. I have nothing more to lose,” said the Nalanda schoolgirl in a WhatsApp message to reporters.

She said she was scared that her family might be “eliminated”, along with her, after the Patna High Court granted bail to Yadav on 30 September.

The girl, who had cleared the matriculation examination earlier this year, was allegedly raped by Yadav, the RJD MLA from Nawada, and has been living in trauma since the sordid event.

She had appeared for the matriculation examination after the state school examination board facilitated her to write the papers at a secluded centre due to fear of humiliation.

She cleared the examination in first division.

Meanwhile, The Nitish Kumar government on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court, challenging the bail granted to Yadav by the Patna High Court.

The apex court is scheduled to hear the matter on 7 October.

Yadav had surrendered before a local court in March in connection with the incident.

Patna HC strikes down Bihar govt’s prohibition law, terms it ‘illegal’

Patna High Court on Friday struck down Bihar goverment’s prohibition law, terming it “illegal”.

A division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari and Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh quashed the 5 April notification of the state government to stop consumption and sale of alcohol in the state.

File photo of Nitish Kumar. PTI

File photo of Nitish Kumar. PTI

The 5 April notification is ultra vires to the Constitution, hence not enforceable, the court said in its verdict.

The same bench had on 20 May reserved its order on a batch of writ petitions filed by Liquor Trade Association and many individuals challenging the liquor law in Bihar brought by Nitish Kumar government with stringent penal provisions.

The stringent Bihar Excise and Prohibition Bill, 2016 was passed on 1 August in the state Assembly by voice vote amidst boycott by Opposition over the state government’s rejection of their proposals.

On the provision of arrest of family members in the event of liqour bottle being found at their house, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had earlier said that only adult members will be penalised on the premise that somebody in the household must be knowing as to who has brought the liquor.

The Bihar government had also earlier banned the sale of toddy, which is considered the poor man’s beer and regarded as a natural juice.

This move was opposed by the people, including by ally RJD’s chief Lalu Prasad as well as the opposition BJP and its allies.

According to RJD leaders, Lalu was not in favour of banning toddy. Lalu Prasad as Chief Minister in the early ’90s had declared toddy tax-free in Bihar to help the people engaged in the business, particularly the ‘Pasi’ caste Dalits.

In view of increasing pressure from Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar decided to lift the ban on the sale and consumption of toddy, something which points out the huge role which the JD(U)’s alliance with RJD plays when the Bihar government is forming policies.

After imposing prohibition, commercial tax revenue in the state also witnessed a sharp dip. According to India Today, the state government’s commercial tax revenue went down from Rs 3,666 crore in the first quarter of the last fiscal year to Rs 2,372 crore in the same period this year.

The excise revenue also decreased from Rs 897 crore in the same period last year to Rs 42 crore this year.

In the last fiscal year, the state government was earning around Rs 5000 crore only from the sale of liquor in the state.

Defending prohibition in Bihar, Nitish Kumar had also said that crimes like rape, murder, dacoity, road accidents, theft and extortion had come down since April this year, even though there has been a sharp rise in cases registered under the excise law.

With inputs from agencies

Mohammad Shahabuddin’s bail: Supreme Court rebukes Bihar government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday came down heavily on Bihar government for not placing facts before the Patna High Court which granted bail to controversial RJD leader Mohd Shahabuddin in a murder case. The counsel for Nitish Kumar government, which has RJD as its coalition partner in the state, faced searching questions in the apex court which rebuked it for not being serious in pursuing the case against Shahabuddin.”Why have you approached the court only after his release? Were you in slumber till he got bail? This is a peculiar case. But the question is this peculiarity has been done at whose instance and who is behind this. Why you did not challenge bail granted to Shahabuddin in 45 cases? Why did you realise only when he came out of jail? If everything was fair, why would this case come to us,” a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said while clarifying that by peculiarity, it meant negligence.The observations came after senior advocate Dinesh Dwivedi, appearing for Bihar, sought cancellation of Shahabuddin’s bail and said the decision to enlarge the RJD leader was improper as the High Court had ignored the relevant material in the case. He said the High Court could not have granted him bail unless there was any special reason or any medical urgency.The senior lawyer admitted there were “anomalies” by the state government in the case. To this, the bench said, “we can understand your difficulty and the only thing we can say is that we understand everything.”Dwivedi said “I admit the anomalies. I am not in any way justifying the actions of the state government. We were handicapped at that time. But my submission is that the relevant material has been ignored in the case.”The bench then asked him “Why should you be handicapped? You are the state. It was the duty of your lawyer to inform the High Court about the correct facts of the case. It was your duty to inform the High Court that a revision petition has been filed in the session court by Shahabuddin. Why didn’t you tell the High Court at that point of time? We are just trying to find out what kind of person he is by looking at the background and circumstances of the case. How many cases are pending against him, who is a four time Member of Parliament and two times MLA. We are just thinking what is the common man’s thought. There are so many cases against him and there are so many bail orders. You did challenge those bail orders,” the bench said.The hearing remained inconclusive and will continue tomorrow.Dwivedi said Shahabuddin was first sent to jail in 2005 and since then he has been committing crimes from inside the prison. He said the RJD leader was acquitted in most of the cases as many witnesses refused to testify against him.”Shahabuddin’s remaining in jail has hardly made a difference as he has been committing crimes from inside the jail premises as well. And this is the reason that he was shifted to Bhagalpur from Siwan jail,” he said.Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Siwan-based Chandrakeshwar Prasad whose three sons have been killed in two separate incidents, also sought cancellation of Shahabuddin’s bail and said enlarging him on bail was “travesty of justice”. Bhushan said the High Court had erred in granting bail to a history-sheeter who has a criminal antecedents and termed him as a hardened criminal.Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Shahabuddin, said his client has been suffering from media trial and said the state government has to be fair and cannot play with the liberty of an individual. He said the state was “only cooking up stories” and causing prejudice to his client’s case as he had attained “notoriety”.”It has become a trend in Bihar that if any crime takes place, then it must be Shahabuddin. This has been a fashion now,” he said.Shahabuddin, who was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7, was released from Bhagalpur jail on September 10. He was in jail for 11 years in connection with dozens of cases against him. On September 19, the apex court had sought a response from Shahabuddin on a separate plea filed by Siwan resident Chandrakeshwar Prasad, challenging the bail granted to him by Patna High Court, in the murder case of his third son.The apex court is also hearing a separate plea filed by the widow of journalist Rajdev Ranjan, who was murdered in Siwan allegedly at the instance of Shahabuddin, seeking transfer of the case to Delhi.Kalawati Devi, wife of Chandrakeshwar Prasad and the mother of three youths who were brutally killed by henchmen of the controversial politician, had also moved the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of bail granted to him in the case in which he has already been sentenced to life.

Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging Shahabuddin’s bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court will on Monday hear petitions challenging the Patna High Court’s order to grant bail to former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) parliamentarian Shahabuddin.The top court had on September 19 issued a notice to Shahabuddin while hearing pleas of the Bihar Government and Chandrakeshwar Prasad against the bail granted to him. The Bihar Government had earlier filed an appeal before the apex court, challenging the Patna High Court’s order of granting bail to Shahabuddin.Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan had also challenged the Patna High Court order of granting bail to the RJD strongman. The petition has been filed by Bhushan on behalf of the victim’s family, which was upset to see Shahabuddin walk free.Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan. Shahabuddin’s release from jail evoked widespread criticism of the grand alliance in the state with the opposition accusing the government of paving way for his release by not opposing the bail strongly in the court.

SC directs CBI to probe Shahabuddin and Bihar police to protect Rajdev Ranjan’s kin

New Delhi: CBI was on Friday directed to proceed with its probe into the murder of journalist Rajdev Ranjan by the Supreme Court which asked the Bihar police to provide protection to his family that has claimed threat to life from controversial RJD leader Shahabuddin.

File photo of Mohammed Shahabuddin. PTIFile photo of Mohammed Shahabuddin. PTI

File photo of Mohammed Shahabuddin. PTI

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan also sought the response of Shahabuddin, Bihar’s health minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s son Tej Pratap Yadav and Bihar government on a petition by Ranjan’s wife who has also sought transfer of the case from Siwan in Bihar to Delhi.

The RJD chief’s son was seen in a photograph published in newspapers with one of the two sharp shooters of alleged gangster Shahabuddin.

“In view of that, we direct that the CBI may proceed with the investigation but not finalise it and shall file the status report before this Court on 17 October,” the bench said, adding “Superintendent of Police, Siwan district, shall provide police protection to the petitioner and her family.”

The counsel for Ranjan’s wife Asha Ranjan claimed before the bench that CBI has not even started its probe into the case due to “political influence” and “fear of Shahabuddin” as the state machinery was protecting the history sheeter, against whom there were 58 criminal cases according to Bihar government’s 2014 affidavit in the apex court.

When the counsel said the case should be transferred to Delhi, the bench said “CBI shall continue the investigation there. Eventually, after hearing them, we may consider whether to transfer the case. There is no trial as of now. Let them investigate.”

The counsel told the court that five persons were arrested by Bihar Police in connection with the case, but the two alleged sharp shooters of Shahabuddin were not.

“CBI did not dare to take up the investigation in the case due to fear of Shahabuddin. Two sharp shooters, Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed, were seen with Shahabuddin and Health Minister
of Bihar Tej Pratap Yadav. Entire state machinery is protecting Shahabuddin,” he alleged. Kaif surrendered before a Siwan court two days ago.

He said that Rajdev, a journalist, had written various stories about the “criminal deeds” of Shahabuddin and after RJD-JD(U) alliance came to power in Bihar, he was shot dead.

“Terror of Shahabuddin was so high that even the trial judge, who had convicted him in one of the case, has requested for transfer from Siwan to Patna,” he alleged while seeking transfer of the case from Siwan to Delhi.

Reacting to the apex court’s notice, Tej Pratap on Friday said in Patna that similar notices should have been issued against BJP leaders also whose photographs had appeared with a suspect in the case and other criminals.

Asha’s counsel Kislay Panday also said an FIR should be registered against Shahabuddin and Tej Pratap for allegedly “harbouring and sheltering” Kaif and Javed, who were declared as proclaimed offenders in the case in which “hapless and helpless widow” ran from pillar to post for justice.

He said Kaif has surrendered before the police but Javed has not been arrested so far.

Panday said that Asha and two children of the slain journalist have been compelled to live in constant fear after Shahabuddin was released from Jail.

If the probe and trial of the case was conducted in Bihar, Shahabuddin and others would “terrorise the witnesses” due to which they would not get any justice, he contended.

In its order, the bench referred to submissions advanced by the counsel which said, “criminalisation of politics have been heavily commented upon and deprecated by this court in many a decision…and case at hand depicts a disturbing affair in that regard, for Shahabuddin and Tej Pratap, though (they) hold party position and position in the political executive, yet do not even think for a moment before associating themselves with such kind of anti-social elements and, in fact, sometimes render assistance.”

The bench said “on perusal of the petition, it is prima facie discernible that the petitioner who lives with two small children, after losing her husband and the developments that have taken place in District Siwan, is in a state of continuous fear.”

“It has been said that courage is the mother of all virtues and a man with courage can always sustain his or her dignity. But, sometimes, situations are created by certain powerful protagonists which instill fear in the mind of a citizen and that fear has the potentiality to usher in atrophy to the sense of dignity.

“It is also asserted in the petition that in the obtaining fact situation, this Court may direct for giving her protection by the competent authority failing which it is difficult to fathom, what kind of danger shall visit her,” the bench noted.

Look at BJP’s ad spending before pointing finger at AAP: RJD to Jaitley

With Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accusing the AAP-led government in Delhi of using advertisements to manipulate the media, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Sunday came in strong support of the latter, saying the BJP should first look at its own expenditure on advertisements, before passing comments on the Kejriwal-led government.”I find it very bizarre, laughable. Mr. Jaitley should look at the way his government is functioning. It is a government purely (based) on advertisement, no work and just spectacle. When they completed two-years, look at the advertisements they gave. Just see how disturbed they get when there is partially critical assessment of their work,” RJD leader Manoj Jha told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I think Mr. Jaitley should look at his government and its advertisements before commenting on Kejriwal ji,” he added.Hitting out at Jaitley for accusing the Delhi government, earlier the AAP said that he should look at his own conduct in this regard.”I would ask Jaitley ji, what is the need of advertisement of the Haryana government in Delhi and other states; what is the need of advertisement of the Kerala government in Delhi and other states; what is the need of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh government’s ads in other states,” AAP leader Somnath Bharti said.According to reports, Jaitley assailed the AAP government in Delhi, saying the government is using advertising funds to manipulate the media.”While “friendly” media is being given advertisements, media houses which are critical of the AAP government are being denied ad revenue,” Jaitley said in an interview.

Kairana migration | We are being defamed: Kandhla’s Muslim residents tell delegation of Opposition parties

​A delegation consisting of opposition parties like JD(U), CPI(M), CPI, and NCP met with the Muslim residents in Uttar Pradesh’s Kandhla city. KC Tyagi of JD(U), Mohammed Salim of CPM, D Raja of CPI(M) and DP Tripathi from NCP met with Muslim residents to discuss the Kairana exodus.Muslim residents told the delegation that the Hindus are moving out of Kairana only due to lack of education and medical facilities. “We have fought alongside Hindus to fight the British. We are being defamed,” said Maulana Badar to the delegation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>KC Tyagi told dna, “We don’t fight election in Uttar Pradesh, we have come here only to stand against nefarious designs like love jihad, cow slaughter. We are concerned about statements of Amit Shah who wants to make Kairana a national issue.”On Wednesday, a fact-finding BJP team visited Kairana to review the situation over alleged migration of Hindus.RJD leader Manoj Jha said, “We have asked the people to stand up to tough times ahead of the elections. The residents have to stand up to communal forces so that we can defeat them.”

Lalu Prasad appears before CBI court in fodder scam case, next hearing on 29 June

Ranchi: RJD president Lalu Prasad and two former MPs appeared before a special CBI court in Ranchi on Monday in connection with a fodder scam case, whose hearing would be taken up again on 29 June.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. AFP

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. AFP

Prasad appeared before the court of Shivpal Singh in connection with 38A/96 case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.31 crore from Dumka treasury in undivided Bihar during the 1990s.

Former MPs Jagdish Sharma and RK Rana were among others who also appeared before the court.

The court fixed 29 June as the next date as two of the accused petitioned that they could not attend the court due to illness.

The CBI has already produced 208 witnesses and several others are to be produced.

Altogether 48 people, including former Bihar chief minister Prasad, were made accused in the Dumka treasury case. Fifteen of them have died and two turned government approvers, while two others were acquitted.

Prasad was convicted in the RC 20A-96 case relating to Chaibasa treasury on 30 September, 2013. The four-year sentence led to his losing Lok Sabha membership.

Bihar: BJP alleges stolen files were of fodder scam; seeks CBI probe

The BJP on Thursday refused to accept Bihar government’s claim that 500 odd stolen files of the state animal husbandry directorate were not connected with the fodder scam and alleged that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was trying to save RJD president Lalu Prasad and others accused in the over Rs 1000 crore scam.”More than 500 stolen files are related to fodder scam,” senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi claimed in a statement and demanded CBI inquiry into the issue.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Majority of the stolen files are related to cases under fodder scam in which hearing is pending in courts,” Modi, one of the petitioners in the Patna High Court in the scam in Animal Husbandry department during RJD rule, alleged.Besides, there are files linked to petitioners that included him (Sushil Modi), Rajeev Ranjan Singh Lallan and Prem Chandra Mishra, he alleged.”Lalu Prasad is a convict in a fodder scam case and is currently on bail. More than half-a-dozen other cases related to the fodder scam are pending against him,” he said and asked if theft of the files was part of a conspiracy to save the accused.”In a bid to save its face, the state government is arguing that files related to fodder scam have been handed over to CBI. The question is if these were dead files, why were they stolen?” he asked.Animal Husbandry Department Minister Awdesh Kumar Singh yesterday denied missing files were of fodder scam saying all such files related to that case have been handed over to the CBI which is investigating the scam.The minister said the missing files were related to retirement, pension and other departmental matters of employees from 1997 to 2011.Modi said the theft had been taken place on April 26 but the information regarding the theft was given four days later (April 30) and this proves it is a conspiracy.”Sixteen days after information about theft of files, an FIR was registered, and after 22 days of it an inspector did the formality of questioning about theft,” he claimed.”The fact is that Nitish Kumar wishes to save Lalu Prasad,” he alleged.”On one hand, Lalu Prasad ignored party workers and nominated noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who is arguing his case in fodder scam, to Rajya Sabha. On the other, a conspiracy was hatched to steal files related to fodder scam,” Modi said.

Bihar: Charges framed against suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav in rape case

A district court on Monday framed charges against suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav and other accused persons in connection with the rape case of a minor girl in February last.Additional District and Sessions Judge (I) Shashi Bhushan Prasad Singh framed charges against Yadav under various sections of IPC that includes 376 for raping a girl besides Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012, Special Public Prosecutor Shyameshwar Dayal said. Charges have also been framed against the other five accused persons under Immoral Traffic Prevention Act.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The other five accused persons are Sulekha Devi, Radha Devi, Tusi Devi, Chhoti Kumari and Sandeep. Sulekha Devi and her kin, named in the charge sheet, were accused of supplying girls to the RJD MLA and were arrested.
ALSO READ Minor girl rape case: Fugitive RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav surrenders in courtThe Nalanda Police had on April 22 filed a charge sheet against the suspended RJD MLA and other accused in the case. The 205-page charge sheet was filed by women’s police station in-charge Mridula Kumari in the court of additional district judge Rashmi Shikha with the RJD MLA listed as the main accused. Police said they have appealed to the court for speedy trial. The RJD MLA had surrendered before a local court on March 10 fearing confiscation of his properties at several places in the state as he was evading arrest for about a month after registration of FIR against him for allegedly raping the minor girl at his residence in Biharsharif on February 6.
ALSO READ Bihar police seize property of rape accused RJD MLA Raj Ballabh YadavYadav, who won from Nawada seat on RJD ticket in 2015 Assembly polls and a former minister in the RJD government, was suspended by the party on February 14 after the rape charge.

Suresh Prabhu, YS Chowdary, Sharad Yadav, Ram Jethamalani among others elected to Rajya Sabha

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y Satyanarayana Chowdary have been elected unanimously to Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh. Two other candidates T G Venkatesh and V Vijaysai Reddy have also been elected unopposed in the biennial election to the Council of States.V Sunanda Reddy, who filed nomination as a dummy candidate on behalf of the YSR Congress, withdrew her papers yesterday, paving the way for the unanimous election of the four main candidates.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prabhu is a BJP nominee supported by the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Chowdary and Venkatesh are TDP candidates, while Vijaysai is the lone opposition YSRC nominee.BIHAR:JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, noted Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani and RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti were among five candidates declared elected unopposed for Rajya Sabha from Bihar on Friday.Jethmalani, a former BJP MP and law minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was elected to Rajya Sabha from RJD. He is presently pleading RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s case in the multi-crore fodder scam in Ranchi.With this, the tally of parties for the 16 Upper House seats from Bihar will be JD(U) 9, BJP 5 and RJD 2.Except for Jethmalani all the four victorious Rajya Sabha candidates collected certificate from Bihar Legistive Assembly Secretary-cum-Returning Officer Ram Shrestha Rai. Jethmalani’s certificate was collected by Bhola Yadav, RJD MLA and a close confidante of Lalu Prasad, Rai told PTI.Besides, all seven candidates- that included five of Grand Secular Alliance while two BJP nominees- were elected unopposed for Legislative Council polls.Grand Alliance nominees who were for the Legislative Council included- Gulam Rasool Baliyavi, C P Sinha (JD-U), S M Qamar Alam, Ranvijay Singh (RJD) and Tanveer Akhtar (Congress). The two BJP nominees who were elected to the upper house included Arjun Sahni and Vinod Narayan Jha.TAMIL NADU:Six Rajya Sabha nominees, four of ruling AIADMK and two belonging to DMK, were today elected unopposed to the Upper House from Tamil Nadu.AIADMK candidates R Vaithilingam, A Navaneethakrishnan, A Vijayakumar, former Union Minister S R Balasubramoniyan, DMK nominees R S Bharathi and T K S Elangovan were declared elected to fill the vacancies of the six members who will retire on June 29 this year, Assembly Secretary and Returning Officer, A M P Jamaludeen said in a statement.Today was the last date of withdrawal of nominations. With the election of four MPs, the strength of ruling AIADMK will go up to 12 from the present 11 in Rajya Sabha.There will be no change in the number of DMK MPs which will continue to be four. The elections were called to fill the vacancies of six MPs to Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu.(With PTI inputs)

Sharad Yadav, Ram Jethmalani, Misa Bharti among 5 elected to RS from Bihar

JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, noted Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani and RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti were among five candidates declared elected unopposed for Rajya Sabha from Bihar on Friday.Other two candidates who triumphed without a contest for the Upper House of Parliament included JD(U) nominee Ramchandra Prasad Singh and BJP nominee Gopal Narayan Singh. Jethmalani, a former BJP MP and law minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was elected to Rajya Sabha from RJD. He is presently pleading RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s case in the multi-crore fodder scam in Ranchi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With this, the tally of parties for the 16 Upper House seats from Bihar will be JD(U) 9, BJP 5 and RJD 2. Except for Jethmalani all the four victorious Rajya Sabha candidates collected certificate from Bihar Legistive Assembly Secretary-cum-Returning Officer Ram Shrestha Rai. Jethmalani’s certificate was collected by Bhola Yadav, RJD MLA and a close confidante of Lalu Prasad, Rai said. Besides, all seven candidates- that included five of Grand Secular Alliance while two BJP nominees- were elected unopposed for Legislative Council polls.Grand Alliance nominees who were for the Legislative Council included- Gulam Rasool Baliyavi, C P Sinha (JD-U), S M Qamar Alam, Ranvijay Singh (RJD) and Tanveer Akhtar (Congress). The two BJP nominees who were elected to the upper house included Arjun Sahni and Vinod Narayan Jha. The results were declared today by Ram Shrestha Rai after the time for withdrawal of candidature came to an end today at 3 pm. Biennial elections were held to fill five Rajya Sabha and seven Legislative Council seats.

RJD show-causes MP Taslimuddin for remarks against Nitish Kumar

RJD on Sunday issued a show-cause notice to its Araria Lok Sabha MP Mohammad Taslimuddin for making statements against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.”The party has issued show cause notice to Taslimuddin,” RJD state unit president Ramchandra Purbe told PTI. Purbe, however, did not specify the time-frame within which Taslimuddin has to reply. He also refused to answer whether any show-cause notice has been given to senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, who too has been critical of the Chief Minister.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD sources said the controversial statements were indirectly helping BJP. The party’s decision assumes significance in the backdrop of the fact that its ally JD(U) yesterday took strong exception to the statements made by Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Taslimuddin and demanded action against both leaders. “We have requested RJD boss Lalu Prasad jee to take action against both Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Mohammad Taslimuddin. Either these leaders should be kept under control or be suspended (from the party),” JD(U) chief spokesman Sanjay Singh had said.
ALSO READ Nitish not fit to be ‘mukhia’, want alliance to break today: RJD’s Taslimuddin Taslimuddin had trained his gun once again at the Nitish Kumar government yesterday, urging the RJD boss to snap ties with JD(U). He had said the chief minister should first set things in order in Bihar before undertaking a nation-wide campaign on prohibition.Soon after the meeting of the state and central parliamentary board of RJD here Friday, both Raghuvansh and Taslimuddin had attacked the Nitish Kumar government. Araria MP had said that Nitish Kumar should quit as he has failed to handle the law and order situation. On an earlier occasion as well, Taslimuddin had said Nitish Kumar was not “PM material” and was “daydreaming of becoming the prime minister”.

Nitish not fit to be ‘mukhia’, want alliance to break today: RJD’s Taslimuddin

‘There is no law and order in the state. Nitish Kumar is not even fit to be a ‘mukhiya’, forget about being a prime minister. They are falsely claiming that law and order has improved in the state. They have created false facts on crime rate but it reveals through media though,’ Taslimuddin told ANI. ‘He has looted lot of funds of Bihar. What is he doing he is roaming outside. He should look after Bihar first. I want the RJD-JDU alliance to break today itself if possible, but its Lalu ji’s decision,’ he added. Earlier also, Taslimuddin, a five-term MP who represents Araria in Lok Sabha, had said Kumar has failed to rein in the spate of killings that have taken place in recent past in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been attacking the grand alliance in Bihar after the murder of two journalists, one in Bihar and the other in neighbouring Jharkhand. Senior reporter of a Hindi-daily ‘Hindustan’, Rajdeo Ranjan, was killed in Bihar’s Siwan district on Friday evening by unknown assailants near the railway station. The journalist was shot from close range in the head and the neck. In Jharkhand, a journalist was shot dead by unidentified people at Dewaria in Chatra district. A police official said, Akhilesh Pratap Singh, 35 who worked for a news channel, was gunned down near panchayat secretariat of the village on previous Thursday night.The killing comes days after a brutal road rage case, in which suspended JD (U) MLC Manorama Devi’s son Rocky shot dead a class XII student, Aditya Sachdeva, in Gaya for overtaking his SUV. With a string of utterances against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by two senior leaders of RJD over the law and order situation in the state, the JD(U) appealed to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad seeking action against them. The party said statements made by RJD leaders Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Mohammad Taslimuddin were “against the principles” of ‘Mahagathbandhan dharma’.”We have requested the RJD boss Lalu Prasad jee to take action against both Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Mohammad Taslimuddin. Either these leaders should be kept under control or be suspended (from the party),” JD(U) chief spokesman Sanjay Singh told PTI. The spoksman said JD(U) does not attach importance to Taslimuddin at all, adding, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has also been “derailed” ever since he lost Lok Sabha elections to LJP’s Rama Singh.Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has gone into “political coma”, the JD(U) chief spokesman said, adding, Raghuvansh has been continuously making statements against his party’s national president Nitish Kumar, which is not good for an alliance. Not a single leader of JD(U) made any statement against RJD leaders, he said.With agency inputs

Why was RJD’s Shahabuddin getting ‘VIP facilities’: Sushil Modi asks Nitish

The controversy over RJD strongman Md Shahabuddin getting ‘VIP facilities’ while being shifted to Bhagalpur jail from Siwan to die down with BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi questioning Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on why a luxury vehicle was used in the process and why it took 12 hours to reach Bhagalpur. “How come a convicted prisoner like Md Shahabuddin get a luxury vehicle and why did it take 12 hours for the police to shift the RJD strongman to Bhagalpur amid reports that he met a minister and some RJD leaders at Muzaffarpur?” Modi asked in a statement.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The former deputy Chief Minister also took the state government to task for reportedly allowing Shahabuddin to hold a ‘janata durbar’ at Siwan jail in violation of jail manual, which was found out by top district officials during inspection and the matter reported to IG, Prison Anand Kishore who subsequently issued a notification for the RJD strongman’s shifting to Bhagalpur jail at the earliest.Modi questioned the state government for lodging Shahabuddin in Siwan district jail when as per rules he should have been held at a central jail as he was convicted for more than five years by a court in a murder case. Alleging that Shahabuddin enjoyed “patronage of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad” who has nominated the former to his party’s national executive recently, Sushil urged the Chief Minister to take up the issue with Prasad.It may be mentioned that fingers have been raised at Shahabuddin in journalist Rajdeo Ranjan murder case in Siwan last week with his kins demanding security in view of threats from the convicted don.

Congress’ decision to go solo in Assam led to its loss: Nitish Kumar

New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday attributed BJP’s maiden victory in Assam to Congress’ decision not to go for an alliance in the assembly polls.

Kumar, whose JD(U) wanted Congress to fight Assam polls in tie-up with AIUDF and RJD, on Thursday credited BJP’s victory in the north eastern state to the latter succesfully “stitching up an alliance”.

The JD(U) chief said there is

The JD(U) chief said there is “nothing surprising” in the assembly election results, which were “totally on expected lines”. Nitish Kumar. Reuters

The JD(U) chief said there is “nothing surprising” in the assembly election results, which were “totally on expected lines”.

Congratulating those who won the polls, Kumar said,”The results are not suprising. What has come out today is was visible during the election campaigning. We had been to Kerala a few times.

“It looked then also that the Left Democratic Front has an edge. Bengal is nearby (close to Bihar). People keep coming from there to Bihar and we have been listening to what is happening there. I congratulate Mamata ji (on TMC’s victory).”

Commenting on results in Assam, where BJP created history by storming to power for the first time, ousting Congress after a 15-year unbroken stint in power, Kumar said,”In Assam, Congress did not go for an alliance before polls, whereas the BJP successfully stitched up an alliance.”

“It (the result) was clear well before the elections. It was clearly visible from all sides,” he said.

The state unit of Congress had decided not to forge a pre-poll alliance with any party.

After the success of JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance in Bihar assembly polls last year, there was a buzz for some time that a similar alliance could also be replicated in Assam, where the BJP was making a serious bid to come to power.

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor was also in favour of a Congress-led grand alliance against the BJP in Assam.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who attended the swearing-in of Nitish Kumar in November last year, had also given a call for a Mahabujabujji (a deep understanding) between anti-BJP parties.

However, when Kumar took the initiative to forge an alliance that would include JD(U), AIUDF, RJD and Congress, the Assam unit of the Congress decided to go to the polls independently.

Voicing his displeasure later, which was seen as an indication of the impending reverses for the ruling party in Assam, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal said a few days back on Twitter that if BJP wins because of a division of secular votes, it is Congress which will be responsible.

In a series of tweets on April 10, Ajmal had said, “even before two days we approached Cong to come in to some understanding. But Congress rejected our offer. But unfortunately Congress did not agree to form an alliance with us. They rather are hell bent to divide secular votes.

“Nitish Kumarji, Lalu Yadavji also tried their best 2 work out a grand alliance including Congress, AGP, BPF, JDU, RJD & all other secular forces. We tried our best to form an alliance with the Congress, Prashant Kishore spoke to Rahul Gandhi in this regard,” Ajmal, whose AIDUF has emerged as a force to reckon with in the state, had said.

UGC’s directive to universities to chant ‘om’ on Yoga Day draws flak

A fresh controversy broke out on Tuesday over the UGC’s directive asking universities and colleges to follow Ayush ministry’s yoga protocol that begins with chanting of ‘Om’ and some Sanskrit sholakas during Yoga Day celebrations on June 21.While Congress criticised the BJP-led government for being “insensitive”, saying yoga, a great discipline of ancient India, does not belong to the saffron party, JD(U) termed it as yet another attempt to “impose the communal agenda” on Indian masses.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Yoga is a great knowledge of ancient India. It is not something that belongs to BJP. It should be made more acceptable system for the people to practice…Probably this government is unconcerned about these sensitive aspects,” Congress spokesperson P C Chako said.Senior JD(U) leader K C Tyagi flayed the government, saying “This is again (an attempt) to impose the communal agenda on Indian masses. We are opposed to that. How can you say to a Muslim, Sikh, Christian to say ‘Om’. For me, I am a Hindu and I have no problem, but how can you ask people of other religion (to do it). This is again communalism… the divisive agenda of RSS. We condemn it.”UGC’s DirectiveIn his letter to universities last week, UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu had sought the “personal indulgence” of Vice Chancellors in celebrating yoga day in their varsities as well as affiliated bodies.”I request you to draw action plan for International Day of Yoga and also ensure wide participation of students and teachers of your esteemed University in the yoga day celebrations,” the senior UGC official said in his letter along with the Ayush ministry’s 45-minute protocol for practising yoga.The protocol starts with a two-minute prayer preceded by chants of ‘Om’ and some Sanskrit Shlokas and followed by 18 minutes of yoga postures and pranayam. As per the protocol, participants would sit in a meditative pose for 9 minutes and there would be ‘Shanti Paath’ towards the end.AYUSH Ministry says no compulsion to chant ‘Om’However, the government and BJP insisted last year’s protocol has been maintained and no changes have been made.”There is no compulsion to chant ‘Om’,” a senior Ayush Ministry official said.BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said, “There is no compulsion. Some people are linking yoga to religion while it is essentially meant for holistic well being. It should be a matter of pride that the UN celebrates Yoga Day and about 196 countries follow it. The dirty tricks department of the Congress is behind the controversy.”RJD and CPI(M) also slammed the Modi government, alleging it was adopting a sectarian attitude which was not good. RJD spokesman Manoj Jha said, “In terms of the broad democratic ethos, you cannot force me to do something. If I say I do yoga not because of any other reason (but) simply because I believe in physical activity more and not in chanting ‘Om’, that kind of freedom is in tune with the idea we have seen… We are making nasty compromises on that. These kind of indicators which emanate from the highest office, they unsettle us. That’s a dangerous thing.”CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said the government has no right to make chanting of ‘Om’ mandatory.”This is not going to work. They just want to push a very sectarian agenda. Their agenda is known to everybody and that is to try and impose religion and religious belief on other communities or those who are non-believers. Nobody is going to accept this,” she added.Actor Anupam Kher said the International Yoga Day has brought reputation to India. “It was performed in more than 100 countries. We have given yoga to the world. And ‘Om’ is attached with Yoga. It would be better if it is not made a controversy.”Last year also, a similar proposal had created a controversy after which a clarification was issued by the Ayush Ministry that chanting ‘Om’ was not compulsory.

Nitish Kumar to recommend CBI enquiry into journalist’s death in Siwan

Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the Bihar government will recommend a CBI inquiry into the killing of a journalist at Siwan in the state on 13 May.

“A decision has been taken to send the inquiry into the killing of a journalist of vernacular daily at Siwan to CBI on the request of his family. After following procedural code, the recommendation for CBI investigation would be handed over today itself,” Kumar told newsmen in Patna.

“When I saw in the media the (journalist’s) family’s demand for a CBI probe, I personally asked the DGP to send a police team to acquaint the family with probe.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. AFPBihar CM Nitish Kumar. AFP

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. AFP

“Patna Zonal IG NH Khan met the family and they expressed satisfaction over the inquiry. We were prepared that if they are not satisfied, a CBI probe would be recommended in the Siwan incident,” he said.

The chief minister said that no effort has been spared in investigating the killing of Rajdeo Ranjan, the Siwan district bureau chief of Hindi daily ‘Hindustan’, and in the Gaya road rage incident.

“None should have any doubt that anybody would be protected in any crime. In my government, nobody is above the law irrespective of party affiliation or social standing. We believe in the principle that police should conduct investigation in any crime independently and nobody should interfere in the probe process,” Kumar said.

He also called on mediapersons to be responsible citizens and share information or clue, if any, with the probe officials in the two cases.

When asked about RJD strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin’s alleged link in the murder of the scribe on Saturday and progress of police investigation in the case, the chief minister called Director General of Police PK Thakur, present at the programme, and handed him over the loud speaker to answer the questions.

Rubbishing the charge of return of ‘jungle raj’ in Bihar, Kumar, during the one-and-half-hour press meet, asserted that “rule of law” prevailed in the state and he was personally committed to continue it in future too.

There have been allegations by NDA of return of ‘jungle raj’ under the present ruling coalition in which RJD is a partner and law and order becoming a casualty due to Kumar’s tours outside the state for programmes on prohibition.

He highlighted the suspension of JD(U) MLC Manorama Devi, whose son Rocky Yadav is alleged to have killed 19-year-old student Aditya Sachdeva in an incident of road rage, and also recovery of liquor bottles from her Gaya house.

Bihar murder: BJP hints RJD strongman behind journalist’s murder, demands CBI inquiry

The BJP on Saturday demanded a CBI inquiry into the killing of a journalist in Siwan and hinted about the alleged involvement of a jailed RJD strongman in the murder. “The needle of suspicion points to a jailed ‘bahubali’ (muscleman) in the murder of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan. Since such a high profile person is suspected, its a known fact that Bihar police would not be able to do justice to the case. Hence the matter should be handed over to the CBI,” senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi along with leader of opposition in Legislative Assembly Prem Kumar and state BJP chief Mangal Pandey visited the family of Ranjan, the district bureau chief of Hindi daily “Hindustan”, who was shot dead at Station Road under Town police station last night. Modi, leader of opposition in the Legislative Council, said the family of the victim also sought CBI investigation into the murder case. The senior BJP leader claimed that recently the Superintendent of Police of Siwan furnished a list of 23 people to the state police headquarters who were “black listed” by jailed RJD strongman and former MP, Mohammad Shahbuddin, and Rajdeo Ranjan’s name figured in the list. “The pattern of murder of the journalist was similar to the recent killings of BJP workers of Siwan, Srikant Bharti and Rajesh Roshan, at the behest of Mohammad Shahbuddin,” he said. BJP would organise a sit-in at Siwan tomorrow to protest against the journalist’s murder, said Modi, who was Deputy Chief Minister during NDA rule in the state. Elsewhere in the state, BJP workers would burn effigy of the state government to protest deterioration in law and order situation in Bihar, he added.

Bihar road rage: Tejaswai Yadav compares ‘jungle raj’ to Pathankot attack

Hitting out at the Opposition over the killing of Class 12 student in Bihar, Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav on Wednesday said that if a road rage incident in Bihar is termed as ‘jungle raj’, then shouldn’t Delhi be called the same, considering the number of such incidents occurring in Delhi?

Deputy Bihar Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav

Deputy Bihar Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav

Comparing the lawless incidents being handled in other states, including the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase, Yadav said: “Why is frequent waving of Pakistani flags on our land not called ‘jungle raj’? Slew of murders of witnesses in the Vyapam scam; terrorists infiltrating country’s most secure airbase… Why these incidents are not termed as ‘jungle raj’?”

“We condemn this incident, and we will see to it that the guilty is brought to book,” Tejaswi added.

On Tuesday, Yadav alleged that BJP and “BJP supported media” were targetting the state government through use of word like “jungle raj.”

“The BJP and media supported by the party are advertising the Gaya incident in a way as if it is a rare and first incident of road rage,” Tejaswi Yadav, the son of RJD president Lalu Prasad said in a statement as part of “Dil ki Baat” programme run by him.

“If a relative of any accused is member of a party (it) does not mean that the lawbreaker enjoys protection of the power that be,” he said.

The Deputy CM in the Nitish Kumar government and younger son of Lalu Prasad alleged that the saffron party has maximum numbers of people with criminal background who enjoy its patronage.

“In Madhya Pradesh, an officer was killed brutally by sand mafias… then this is not called a ‘jungle raj’,” he said.

“When an engineer was killed in Jharkhand neither conscience of BJP was pricked nor the BJP-supported media remembered ‘jungle raj’ jumla (euphism),” he added.

Tejaswi referred to violence during quota agitation in Gujarat and Haryana to hit at BJP.

The RJD leader came down heavily on a larger section of media, print as well electronic, “which is singing in tune with a particular party (BJP) after giving a go-bye to principles of journalism”.

Tejaswi Yadav said “our supporters neither express opinion by sending SMS to prime time channel nor air views on facebook and twitter. They give answer only by pressing EVM button at the time of election.”

He strongly defended the grand secular alliance government in the state and asserted rule of law prevails and would continue to be like that in future too.

With inputs from PTI

Suspended JD(U) MLC Manorama Devi faces arrest after liquor bottles found in her house

Bihar’s ruling party Janatal Dal United’s suspended MLC Manorama Devi now faces arrest after liquor was found in her house.The party has suspended her for the period of six years, after the recovery of about 18 bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor from her house in Gaya during a police raid to find her fugitive son.Manorama Devi’s son Rocky Yadav was on Tuesday arrested in connection with killing of a Gaya youth Aditya Sachdeva in an incident of road rage.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to reports the suspended MLC is now on the run.
ALSO READ Bihar road rage: Accused’s mother JD(U) MLC Manorama Devi suspended from party(From left to right – Victim Aditya Kumar Sachdeva (20), accused father and JD(U) MLC Manorama Devi’s husband Bindeshwari Prasad Yadav.)Manorama Devi is the wife of Bindi Yadav, a RJD strongman from Gaya who is now in jail custody in connection with the road rage.
ALSO READ Bihar road rage: JD(U) MLC’s son Rocky Yadav sent to 14 day judicial custodyManorama Devi had joined JD(U) in June last year and was made a MLC. She was RJD member of state legislative council from 2003 to 2009 and shot into limelight after becoming chief of Mohanpur block in 2001. Rocky Yadav has been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days by a Gaya court during the day and sent to the Central Jail there.

RJD MP slams Nitish Kumar for liquor prohibition, ‘poor governance’, says he is not ‘PM material’

Former union minister and senior RJD Lok Sabha MP Mohammad Taslimuddin on Monday said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is not “PM material” and he is “day dreaming of becoming the prime minister” as he has failed to provide “sushashan” (good governance) in Bihar.”Nitish Kumar is not PM material. How can a person run the country who could not provide sushashan in his own state which is witnessing a spate of killings,” Taslimuddin told reporters here. “Kumar is day dreaming of becoming the prime minister by launching nationwide campaign against liquor but that will not fructify,” he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taslimuddin, a five-term MP who represents Araria in Lok Sabha, said Kumar has failed to rein in the spate of killings that have taken place in recent past in the state. “Administration has collapsed in the state. The chief minister is indulging in stunt show to deceit people…There is loot everywhere in Bihar as there is no control on government departments,” he said.It was Nitish Kumar, who ran the government with BJP’s support, who first opened liquor shops in every nook and corner of the state “be it temple, mosque, chowk, school, hospital etc” and now he has suddenly enforced prohibition. “I am not against prohibition but it should have been implemented in a phased manner,” the MP said.

BJP MPs seek President’s Rule in Bihar, RJD-JD(U) protest

BJP members in Lok Sabha on Monday sought imposition of President’s Rule in Bihar alleging “jungle-raj” there and indulged in heated exchanges with their RJD and JD(U) counterparts who strongly opposed their demand.Raking up the issue of deteriorating law and order in the state in the Zero Hour, BJP MP Janaradhan Singh Sigriwal alleged that several ruling alliance legislators or their kins were recently found to have been involved in criminal activities.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sigriwal referred to incidents of rape and molestations involving RJD-JD(U) legislators and demanded that a central team should visit the state to “see for itself”. He further sought imposition of President’s Rule in the state.Ashwini Kumar Choubey, also a BJP MP from Bihar, narrated a number of incidents to drive home the point that Bihar is witnessing “jungle-raj” and law and order was deteriorating in the state. The statements led to a war of words between them and Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav (RJD) and Kaushalendra Kumar (JD-U) who protested their demand for central rule.Taking a jibe at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, expelled RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan said while one dreams to become the next Prime Minister, the other is dreaming to become the Chief Minister.

Ram Vilas Paswan dubs Nitish Kumar being a ‘PM material’ as frivolous issue

Taking a dim view of JD(U) and RJD endorsing Nitish Kumar having ‘PM material’, LJP supremo and Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan on Thursday described the issue as “frivolous.””It’s a frivolous question…I don’t wish to comment on it,” he said in reply to a question on his views on JD(U) and RJD endorsing Kumar having ‘PM material’.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”What is the material” about it? Paswan shot back at reporters when pressed further for his views on the issue.
ALSO READ Bihar Dy CM Tejaswi backs father Lalu Yadav’s support to Nitish Kumar as PM candidatePaswan said that he had been given mandate to make Bihar a crime-free state, but murder, including that of police officers, had become the order of the day.”There is a murder taking place everyday….even police officers are falling prey to criminals,” he said, adding that three policemen were killed by criminals in the state.Paswan, however, said that nobody was stopping one from projecting oneself as PM candidate.JD(U) leaders have been egging on Kumar to take forward his prime ministerial ambition by describing him as ‘PM material’ ever since he has taken over the post of the party’s national president from Sharad Yadav recently. RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and his Deputy Chief Minister son Tejaswi Yadav also endorsed the chief minister’s prime ministerial ambition.

Bihar Dy CM Tejaswi backs father Lalu Yadav’s support to Nitish Kumar as PM candidate

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav on Wednesday supported RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s backing of Nitish Kumar as Prime Ministerial candidate but evaded a direct reply when asked who would be better choice for the post between Kumar and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.Asked to comment that his father and RJD President Lalu Prasad has supported Nitish Kumar for the PM post, Tejaswi Yadav told reporters “Why not? He is honest and has a clean image.” Besides, being Chief Minister for five times he (Kumar) has been a minister at the Centre too, younger son of Prasad said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Why cannot a man with such a vast experience and a vision for the country be considered as ‘PM material’?” he asked.When asked as to who would be a better Prime Ministerial candidate among Nitish Kumar and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Tejaswi Yadav evaded a direct answer and said the country would decide this.Prodded as to whom would RJD back for the PM post in future among the two, he said “a decision would be taken when time for it comes.””Why to make this an issue now…when time for it will come a detailed discussion would be held and a decision taken by the party,” the Bihar Deputy CM said.RJD President on Tuesday had supported Nitish Kumar’s call for “sangh-mukt” country and appeal to non-BJP and RSS parties to unite. Prasad had also backed Kumar for PM post.Tejaswi Yadav refuted BJP’s allegation that Lalu Prasad was backing Nitish Kumar for PM post solely with an intent to pave way for him (Tejaswi) to become the Chief Minister.”It’s baseless assertion. We have got a huge mandate in Bihar to which the government is committed and hence we can not be diverted through such issues,” Tejaswi Yadav, who is also RJD Legislature party leader in the state Assembly, added.Asked if the efforts of merger of old Janata Parivar splinter parties would be revived, Tejaswi Yadav said party would decide such things as he was not authorised for it.”It’s an issue of future. First, secular parties should come on one platform,” he said.”RJD and JD(U) approach and ideology is one and we are happy over the coalition we have today,” he said.Tejaswi Yadav rubbished specution of “tussle” between RJD and JD(U) due to which he did not attend Cabinet meeting recently.”Besides, participating in Cabinet meetings we sat together during recently concluded budget session of Assembly,” he added.

Lalu launches blistering attack on ‘babas’: Targets Ramdev and AOL’s Ravishankar over black money

Patna: Launching a blistering attack at certain gurus and babas, RJD President Lalu Prasad on Thursday sought a probe into assets of these “high profile saints”.

“Assets of all these ‘hi-fi’ saints should be probed,” Lalu said addressing a function to mark 125th anniversary of dalit icon B R Ambedkar in Patna. Describing Baba Ramdev as a “capitalist and industrialist of the country”, Lalu said, “Earlier he used to praise Mulayam Singh Yadav but now he has gone to Narendra Modi and BJP.”

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. PTI

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. PTI

He also castigated Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar for his recent comment that those who do not love the country should go out of it. “On what basis he assessed that somebody does not love his country?” Lalu Prasad asked.

“All these saints and Babas are making fool of people in the garb of religion,” the RJD chief said.

Attacking BJP and RSS, Prasad charged them with being “anti-dalit and anti-minorities”. On Prime Minister launching “Gram Uday se Bharat Uday” on birth Anniversary of B R Ambedkar, the RJD chief said “It is aimed at the coming Uttar Pradesh election and an attempt to break into vote bank of BSP chief Mayawati.”

Hailing dalit icon B R Ambedkar, Lalu said “had he not been there, downtrodden people like us could not have got chair of power.” He described decision taken by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar government as “revolutionary” to impose total ban on liquor.

His party colleague and former Union minister Raghubansh Prasad Singh said RJD has been in favour of prohibition from the beginning.

Bihar: RJD MLA’s sister sexually assaulted, succumbs to injuries, two accused surrender

The lone sister of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA from Bhojpur district Saroj Yadav, succumbed to her injuries which she sustained while resisting sexual assault on Monday night.Shaili Devi was being treated in Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Patna.40-year-old Shaili took a shared auto-rickshaw from Keshavpur when some youths boarded the vehicle on the way and started misbehaving with her. When she resisted, one of the men attacked her with an iron rod and later threw her out of the vehicle after badly assaulting her. She was hit on her head.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two accused, who allegedly assaulted the sister of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) legislator Saroj Yadav, surrendered before the Arrah court on Wednesday.Some local residents spotted her and rushed her to hospital in a critical condition. She died on Tuesday during treatment.The FIR lodged with the Chandi police station lists five people as accused, of which the identity of three is not known. The MLA blamed the police for the rising crime and criticised the state government, saying when the sister of an MLA is not safe, how will the common man feel themselves safe.After the incident, a large number of supporters of the MLA from Barhara blocked the Patna-Ara road and disrupted traffic for about four hours.

Lalu Prasad demands quota in private sector, BJP too favours him

Echoing his ally JD(U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s demand for reservation for Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes in private sector, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on Sunday said his party has been making this demand for quite some time.”Our party has been demanding reservation in private sector for quite some time,” Prasad told reporters.The RJD boss flayed private sector firms for having refused to implement reservation on some pretext or the other. Industry bodies had in the past opposed job reservation in the private sector saying it would affect competitiveness in corporate India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi too supported the demand saying, “As a matter of principle, we are in favour of extending reservation in private sector. But there may be some legal hurldes in implementing the same.”The scope of extending benefits is possible where the government has given grant or subsidy or land to the firms, he said, adding private sector can not be forced to implement it. BJP’s alliance partner and LJP supremo Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had also recently made this demand.The Central government should come up with reservation in the private sector for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, he had said. Paswan had said if a private sector firm avails of funds from the government, they should adopt its reservation policy too.Nitish had on Sunday made a strong pitch for extending reservation in private sector.”In today’s time of economic liberalisation, if reservation is not provided in private sector then it would be a joke with the concept of social justice,” Kumar had said.He had also demanded an amendment in Constitution to increase the cap of 50 per cent quota.

Assam, West bengal polls 2016: EC orders prior clearance by media panel before publication

The Election Commission on Saturday directed that no newspaper advertisement be published on April 3 and 4 in poll-bound Assam and West Bengal without prior clearance, a move which came against the backdrop of controversial advertisements issued by BJP during Bihar elections.The first phase of election in Assam and West Bengal will be held on April 4.In a direction issued to the Chief Electoral Officers of Assam and West Bengal, the Commission said that instances of “advertisements of offending and misleading nature” have been brought to its notice in the past.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Such advertisements in the last stage of election vitiates the election. The affected candidates and parties will not have any opportunity of providing clarification or rebuttal in such cases,” it said.The poll watchdog said to ensure that no such instance is repeated and no untoward incident takes place because of any “inflammatory, misleading or hate advertisements”, no political party, candidate, organisation or person will bring out advertisements in the print media on April 3 and 4.Using it powers under Article 324 of the Constitution (superintendence over conduct of elections), it said the advertisements can be published only if they are pre-certified by Media Certification and Monitoring Committees working at district and state level.The newspapers, the Commission directed, should also be informed against bringing out advertisements which have not been cleared by the committee. During Bihar polls, the Commission had clamped a ban on publication of two controversial advertisements printed by BJP in that state. One of the advertisements alleged that RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar are “snatching the plate of dalits” by planning to transfer the quota meant for dalits and EBCs to minorities.Another advertisement dealt with ‘vote ki kheti’ or vote-bank politics. It claimed that RJD, JDU and Congress leaders are “giving sanctuary” to terrorists to appease a particular community for votes.

Holi celebrated with fervour and gaiety in Bihar; Nitish Kumar, Lalu Yadav greet people

The festival of colour, Holi, was celebrated with fervour and gaiety across Bihar with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad greeting people on the occasion.”I extend my greetings to the people of the state and the country on Holi and their lives’ be filled with colour… People should celebrate Holi with harmony,” Kumar told reporters at his official residence 7, Circular road.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We should try to make Bihar such a society where everyday is celebrated like Holi,” he said on the sidelines of holi celebrations at his residence which was attended by the JD(U) leaders and workers.”You have become the Chief Minister who has proved his mettle and now we want to see you as Prime Minister,” said one of the persons while extending his greetings to the CM.This was the first Holi after the assembly elections of last year which was celebrated with joy and pomp at the residences of the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the RJD supremo Lalu Prasad.People in large numbers thronged Chief Minister’s residence to greet him. Kumar also welcomed the revellers with open arms by offering flower petal to each visitor who later feasted on food and delicacies in the background of music blaring with holi songs.The RJD chief along with his two minister sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, drove to Kumar’s residence, which is barely few hundred meters away from the former’s residence, to greet him.

Nitish’s JD(U) backs Lalu’s ‘half-pants’ comment, says full pants won’t modernize RSS

The Janata Dal (United) on Monday extended its support to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s statement on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), saying that merely turning to full pants won’t modernize the right wing organisation. ‘Lalu ji has said this after a thoughtful process because by merely wearing full pants instead of half pants would not turn you (RSS) into a modern RSS. You have to change your mentality, you have to change your thinking and you have to act in today’s terms. Just talking of Hindu fringe is not going to make them modern,’ JD (U) spokesperson Ajay Alok told ANI<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’We fully support Lalu ji that if you (RSS) don’t change your mentality then it is better to be in half pants,’ he added. With the RSS replacing the khakhi shorts with brown trousers, Lalu Prasad Yadav had pledged to return the volunteer organisation in ‘half pants’ again.With the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) replacing the loose fitting, flappy khakhi knickers with brown trousers, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday pledged to return the volunteer organisation in ‘half pants’ again. ‘The RSS has updated itself because they are now in power. They would wear full pants instead of half pants, but we would again make them return in ‘half pants’,’ Lalu told the media. ‘We have to remove BJP from all the country,’ he added.”The RSS has updated itself because they are now in power. They would wear full pants instead of half pants, but we would again make them return in ‘half pants’,” Lalu had said”We have to remove BJP from the entire nation,” he added.The announcement about the change in the dress code of the RSS was made in Nagpur by RSS general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi.”We have changed our uniform. We move with the times and are not rigid,” Mr. Joshi said. “We have decided to replace the khaki shorts with brown trousers.”He said the details of when the new uniform will become functional will be worked out. Care would be taken to ensure that the new trousers would be comfortable while doing physical activities, a component of the daily routine of the RSS morning shakhas (branches), he said, saying even cricketers and martial artistes wear full trousers.