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Vilification of Taj Mahal shows BJP’s intolerance: Kerala CM P Vijayan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Left parties on Saturday said the vilification of the Taj Mahal by BJP leaders exposed their “intolerance” towards matters they could not associate themselves with.Inaugurating a ‘Jana Jagaran Jatha’ organised by the ruling CPI-M led Left Democratic Front (LDF) here, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan flayed the statement of BJP leader Vinay Katiyar that the Taj Mahal was previously a Shiva temple.”It all started when Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath omitted the Taj Mahal from the list of important places to visit in that state.”It showed that…they cannot tolerate the name Shahjahan, who built the historic and heritage structure,” he said, adding, “We have to seriously think as regards which direction our country is headed to.”Attacking the BJP-RSS, the CPI(M) leader alleged that the saffron party had a “clear agenda” behind raking up the issue of Ram Temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and added, “They are attempting to trigger communal tension in the country by moving towards constructing the shrine.”He slammed the BJP-led central government and alleged that the federal principles had been thrown to the wind, in tune with the policy of the RSS, which believed in centralisation of power.Vijayan accused RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat of “defaming” Kerala with his statement that it had become a place for “Jihadis” under the LDF government.He also came down on the just-concluded Jana Raksha Yatra of the BJP in Kerala, which was attended by party president Amit Shah among others, and described it as an attempt to create tension in the southern state.The LDF has organised two ‘jana jagaran jatha’, one is being led by CPI state secretary Kannam Rajendran from here and another by CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan from Manjeswaram in Kasaragod, to counter the BJP’s “communal agenda” and highlight the state government’s achievements.After flagging off the ‘jatha’ at Manjeswaram, CPI national secretary D Raja, criticising Katiyar’s remark on the Taj Mahal, said, “Now they (BJP-RSS) want to demolish the Taj Mahal.”He claimed that the RSS had become very influential at the Centre ever since Narendra Modi became the prime minister.”The RSS is an organisation with a communal and fascist ideology,” Raja said, adding, “Now they want to re-write history and their target is the Taj Mahal.” The ‘jatha’ led by Rajendran is scheduled to conclude at Ernakulam and the one led by Balakrishnan at Thrissur, after criss-crossing all the 140 Assembly constituencies of the state, on November 3.

BJP accuses Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Power Minister Shivakumar of being involved in ‘Rs 447 cr scam’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP on Saturday accused Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Power Minister D K Shivakumar of being involved in a “mega scam” of about Rs 447 crore relating to the state-owned Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), a charge the Congress refuted as “baseless”.State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru that KPCL paid a penalty of Rs 447 crore to the Centre for re-allotment of a coal block despite it having no such liability, following the coal scam verdict of the Supreme Court in August, 2014.”We charge both of them with receiving kickbacks for making this payment,” he said and demanded a CBI probe.Rejecting the charge, the state power minister said in New Delhi, “Yeddyurappa is misleading the public…This will boomerang (on the party). We are ready for any kind of probe and even a public debate on the issue.””The decision to pay the penalty to the central government was taken in the interest of the state and not for personal gain,” he told reporters in the national capital.The amount was paid to ensure reallocation of the Baranj coal block in Maharashtra for the smooth supply of coal to power units in the state, he added.Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee working president Dinesh Gundu Rao too rubbished the BJP’s charge, saying the party should stop making such allegations to “score political points” in the run-up to the Assembly polls slated for next year.The opposition BJP, citing documents, alleged that Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar as chairman and director of KPCL respectively had “failed miserably in their duties to protect KPCL and allowed loot of taxpayers’ money of Rs 447 crore”.Yeddyurappa, a former chief minister, demanded that the matter be handed over to the CBI for investigating the role of the chief minister and all those involved in the alleged scam.The BJP said KPCL and Kolkata-based Eastern Mineral and Trading Agency (EMTA) formed Karnataka EMTA Coal Mines Ltd (KECML) with 24 per cent and 76 per cent stake respectively in 2002, and when the central government allotted six coal mines to KPCL in 2003, it in turn executed the lease in favour of KECML.In the wake of the coal scam, the Supreme Court cancelled all coal mining licences, including those of KECML, and levied penalties, the senior BJP leader said.Maintaining that KPCL did not object to or counter the claims made by KECML, Yeddyurappa said, “KPCL woke up just 48 hours before the deadline of December 31, 2014. It wrote to KECML on December 30 saying it (KECML) was liable to pay the entire amount and directed it to make the total payment.””Shockingly, within 24 hours of writing the letter, on December 31, KPCL paid Rs 110 crore towards penalty and claimed it was 24 per cent of the amount, despite no demand having been made on KPCL to make the payment,” he said.”Most shockingly on March 16, 2017, KPCL made the balance payment of Rs 337 crore, despite a contempt plea that is pending in the Supreme Court, and related matters before the high court,” he added.On February 2, 2015, the central government had filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against KECML over non- payment of the penalty.Defending the payment made by KPCL, Dinesh Gundu Rao of the Congress told reporters in Bengaluru that KPCL paid the money to the coal controller under protest and also filed affidavits in the Supreme Court and the High Court that the payment was being made without prejudice to KPCL’s rights to recover the money from EMTA.”Since the matter is sub-judice, BJP should stop making any allegations,” Rao said.The fresh salvo by the BJP against the chief minister, comes days after it accused Siddaramaiah of “illegally denotifying” land resulting in a loss of Rs 300 crore to the public exchequer, and filed a complaint with the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB).Rejecting allegations of denotification, Siddaramaiah called it an attempt to tarnish his image ahead of the assembly elections early next year.Karnataka Power Minister Shivakumar is under the lens of the income-tax department, and around 80 premises linked to him have been raided over the last one month. “I will respond at an appropriate time. Let the investigation be completed,” he said when asked about the raids.

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal assigns officials to evaluate ‘quality’ education in state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has stressed the need for quality education as it helps a person to become able, skilled and makes a society strong.Sonowal said education is the guiding force for a society and as such the state government has introduced ‘Gunotsav’ for quality education by which public representatives and government officers have been involved to evaluate quality education.”Education is a means by which people below the poverty line can achieve success by acquiring necessary skills and the Assam government is committed to provide quality education to all”, he said at a function organised to provide scholarship to 100 students belonging to tea garden and other areas at Dibrugarh last evening.Sonowal said 60,000 schools in the state have shown their inclination to ensure qualitative education.Sonowal urged the teaching fraternity to help in moulding the behaviour of students towards cleanliness to ensure the success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.He said if students are disciplined, punctual, dedicated and obedient, they can contribute to the formation of a good society.The chief minister said all educational institutions should take the initiative in reforming society and the teaching fraternity should play a lead role in this direction.

Former Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna confirms PM Modi offered to reconstruct Kedarnath shrine in 2013

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed the former UPA government for stopping him as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from carrying out reconstruction of the Kedarnath shrine after the 2013 flash floods, the then Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Vijay Bahuguna averred that circumstances forced him to reject Prime Minister’s proposition.Speaking to ANI, former CM Vijay Bahuguna said, “Circumstances were such that we took that decision; won’t comment more as I am not in Congress anymore.”Vijay Bahuguna who is now a member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in Congress when he was the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand in 2013.Bahuguna agreed to the fact that Prime Minister Modi extended help and offered a cheque of Rs five Crore. “It is true, Modi ji came to Dehradun, at my residence, gave cheque of Rs 5 Crore for relief on behalf of Gujarat Govt,” he said.”He had kept a proposal to reconstruct shrine devastated in Kedarnath after floods. I thanked him on his proposal and said we will consider it. Later we took a decision to do it ourselves. Had informed him,” Bahuguna added.Earlier in the day, former chief minister Harish Rawat also castigated Prime Minister Modi and said, “The Centre does not interfere in such works. The matter is between Prime Minister Modi and Vijay Bahuguna. It is within BJP.”The Congress accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “disrespecting” traditions during his Kedarnath visit and “misleading” the people on redevelopment work of the shrine after the 2013 deluge.The party claimed that the visit had been planned with Gujarat elections in mind and reflected Modi’s “arrogance” as he had addressed a gathering there with his back towards Lord Shiva’s shrine “while donning Italian glasses”.It said Modi remembered ‘Mother Ganga’ only when he was contesting elections from Varanasi and had now visited Lord Shiva’s shrine ahead of Gujarat elections.Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala alleged, “Modiji has disrespected our tradition and culture by putting up a stage right outside the main entry of Kedarnath and giving his speech with his back towards Lord Shiva.” He also said, “Speaking lies before Lord Shiva! Modiji you forgot to tell people that the Congress government at the Centre gave a redevelopment package of Rs 6,000 crore for Kedarnath in 2013.”Congress spokesperson R P N Singh claimed there is no record of Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, doing anything for redevelopment of Kedarnath or for rescuing people during the flash floods that hit the state in 2013.Reacting to Modi’s claims that the then Congress Government did not allow him as Gujarat chief minister to rebuild the shrine in 2013, Singh said, “It is unfortunate that arrogance marked his address at Kedarnath”.He alleged the the prime minister has misled people of the state and said when the tragedy happened, the then UPA government at the Centre set up a committee for carrying out rehabilitation work and approved Rs 8,000 crore for relief.Speaking to reporters, Singh claimed that Rs 2,200 crore were released at that time only and in the last three years not a single penny has been released by the Modi government.Surjewala urged Modi to shun “politics of opportunism” and accused him of trying to polarise and invoke religious sentiments to win votes during Gujarat elections.He asked whether it is only Modi who is capable of redeveloping Uttarakhand.”When the ruler turns arrogant, then his downfall is close,” he said.He urged the Prime Minister not to disrespect people of the state and said that Lord Shiva does not seek anyone’s help, but seeks devotion.”The truth shall prevail. Modiji Lord Shiva knows everything. Should abstain from talking loud and rhetoric at the feet of the Lord,” he tweeted.Surjewala also said that those who devote themselves to the Lord get the fruits of devotion and asked Modi “to show at least some humility” at Lord Shiva’s door. With inputs from PTI and ANI

No plans to impose beef ban in Meghalaya: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP today said there would not be any beef ban in Meghalaya and alleged that the Congress was “misleading” the people on the issue to gain political mileage ahead of the assembly elections next year.The Centre has not imposed any beef ban in Meghalaya, state BJP president Shibun Lyngdoh said, adding the May 23 notification only regulated the manner in which animal markets were supposed to function and how animals brought for trade were to be treated.BJP spokesperson J A Lyngdoh said in a statement that the party “has already clarified that it (beef ban) will not be imposed in the northeastern states. Livestock is a state subject. It is up to the states to decide”.He also said beef ban would not be imposed in the state, adding preventing cow slaughter was neither a good economic measure nor had constitutional backing.Noting that the ruling Congress is running out of ideas to fight the BJP, the party spokesperson said that Chief Minister Mukul Sangma was “misleading” the people on the issue to gain political mileage ahead of assembly elections next year.Sangma had reportedly said that the Centre’s notification should be withdrawn as it would impact the state’s economy and the food habits of the people. PTI JOP PR ZMN

Was offered money to defect to Shiv Sena, ACB should probe it: MNS corporator

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The lone MNS corporator in the BMC who did not cross over to the Shiv Sena has alleged that he was “indirectly offered money” to switch sides and demanded a probe by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) into the recent defection by six MNS corporators. However, Dilip Lande, who was among the six corporators who left the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), rejected the charge levelled by Sanjay Turde and said they were ready for the probe.He also threatened to sue Turde, who made the allegation in a letter written to the ACB on October 18, nearly a week after six of the seven corporators of the Raj Thackeray-led MNS joined the Shiv Sena.Turde said one of the then MNS corporators approached him on October 12 and “indirectly offered money” to switch sides. He also claimed that they promised him that such a move would boost his political career.”On the sidelines of a ward council meeting on October 12, Dilip Lande called me at around 1 pm and enquired whether I would want to join the Shiv Sena.”He told me that six corporators have decided to join the Shiv Sena and if I do so, then I would never fall short of money, besides it will give a boost to my political career,” Turde alleged in the letter.”I suspect that in this process there must have been illegal financial transactions involving huge amounts.Therefore, I request that a detailed investigation be conducted into it,” the corporator from ward no. 166 in Kurla said. When contacted, Lande said Turde was contradicting his own statement and that he would sue Tarde for “defaming” him and his party. “A few days back, Turde told reporters that he was not offered any money and now he is contradicting himself and making allegations that he was offered money.”I too request the ACB or any other agency to conduct a probe and when I come clean, I will sue him for defaming me and my party,” Lande said.On October 15, MNS chief Raj Thackeray had alleged that the Uddhav Thackeray-led party played “dirty politics of money” by paying Rs 5 crore to each of the corporators who switched sides. Meanwhile, BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, in a video message, today said he would meet the officials of the ACB and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and seek an investigation into the alleged “bribe case”. Jai Ho Foundation, a city-based NGO, had earlier written a letter to Maharashtra Lokayukta demanding a probe into the matter.

PM Modi in Kedarnath: Will build modern infrastructure, ensure environment laws not flouted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday offered prayers at the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Uttarakhand Governor K.K. Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.In his speech, the Prime Minister said his visit to Kedarnath renews his commitment to serve the nation. He added that reconstruction of Kedarpuri, with improved facilities for devotees, will be expensive but there will be no dearth of funds.The Himalayan shrine, dedicated to Shiva, will be closed from Saturday for six months owing to winter.Later, he will lay the foundation stone for reconstruction work at the shrine. He is also likely to address a public meeting near the famed temple.This is the second visit of Prime Minister to the shrine this season. He had visited it on May 3 when its gates had been reopened after the winter break.Updates: PM Modi: Discipline is in the blood of people here in Uttarakhand, atleast one person from each family is a soldier:

BMC chief to hold meet over public toilets’ condition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to maintain its newly-re-validated status as an Open Defecation-Free (ODF) city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will expedite the construction of public toilets. The civic chief will personally review the current status of public toilets and oversee the construction of new ones.In the first week of October, urban Maharashtra was declared Open Defecation-Free (ODF), even as Mumbai had already staked claim to the tag last year, which was re-validated this year.A senior civic official said, “There have been complaints of no water and electricity connection in public toilets, which is why people have to go outside for nature’s call.” According to the official, there are around 8,415 public toilets, with a plan to construct around 4,000 new ones. Earlier this week, DNA had reported about the present status of public toilets in the city. “The BMC has been taking a number of measures to make the city ODF,” said the official.

Intermittent rains fail to dampen Kali puja, Deepavali spirits in Bengal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Deepavali, along with Kali Puja, was celebrated in West Bengal today with pomp and religious fervour, despite intermittent rains.Both the festivals coincided this year and were being observed together, making the entire occasion a gala event. On the occasion of Deepavali, the festival of lights, the city wore a brighter look with illumination everywhere, including on all vital installations, attracting people of all ages. Braving the intermittent rains, people came out on the streets in the evening and were seen enjoying fireworks.However, bursting of crackers was much less this time due to restrictions. A large number of devotees visited the Kalighat, Dakshineswar and Adyapith Kali temples in and around the city to offer prayers to the goddess on the auspicious day. At the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district, the devotees had to stand in long queues to offer puja.Among other places, Kali puja was also held at the Thanthania Kali temple in north Kolkata, Lake Kali temple in south Kolkata and Firinghee Kali temple in central Kolkata. Like the previous years, Kali puja was also held at the residence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Many important personalities, officials and other dignitaries attended the puja and exchanged greetings with the chief minister.Banerjee greeted the people on the occasion saying, “Heartiest greetings to all on the occasion of Kali Pujo and Deepavali.” Many community pujas at Barasat and Naihati in North 24 Parganas district were major attractions for the people. All arrangements were made by the police and Fire Services department to prevent any untoward incident. “So far, the celebrations have been peaceful and without any incident,” an official said.

Omar Abdullah praises PM Modi for spending Diwali with jawans in Gurez, asks him to help with mobile connectivity

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for spending Diwali in Gurez along the Line of Control and urged him to gift physical and mobile connectivity to the people in the area on the festive occasion.Modi arrived in the Gurez sector this morning to celebrate Diwali with troops posted in the forward area close to the Line of Control (LoC). Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was also accompanying the prime minister.”Thank you for celebrating #Diwali with the people & troops in #Gurez. Please gift the people and troops a tunnel under Razdan pass @PMOIndia,” Omar wrote on his Twitter handle.”Physical and mobile connectivity would be your biggest gifts to the area this Diwali jenab. #HappyDiwali @narendramodi Sahib,” he tweeted.”You will have noticed that you can’t tweet from there sir. That’s because there is no data and almost no mobile service. Please do help with it,” he added. In an unannounced visit, Modi arrived at Gurez this morning to celebrate Diwali with the army and BSF soldiers posted along the LoC, officials said.He spent two hours with the soldiers in Gurez valley, which is shouting distance of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and has witnessed many gunfights with infiltrating militants in the past 27 years.This is the fourth successive Diwali that the prime minister has celebrated with jawans on the border.Chief of the Army Staff Gen B S Rawat and other senior army officers were present on the occasion.Modi offered sweets and exchanged greetings with the jawans, the officials said.Addressing the jawans, he said like everyone else, he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family.Therefore, he had come among the jawans of the armed forces, whom he considers to be his “family”, he said.Modi said he gets new energy when he spends time among the jawans and soldiers of the armed forces and appreciated their penance and sacrifice, amid harsh conditions.The prime minister said that he had been told that the jawans present at the gathering regularly practice yoga.He said that this would definitely enhance their abilities, and give them a sense of calm.He said jawans, who leave the armed forces after completing their duty tenure, can become excellent yoga trainers subsequently.The prime minister spoke of the new resolve that each Indian citizen must make for 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.He also encouraged the jawans to innovate, so that their routine tasks and duties become easier and safer and mentioned how best innovations are now being recognised and awarded at the Army Day, Navy Day, and Air Force Day.Modi said the Centre is committed to the welfare and the betterment of the Armed Forces, in every way possible.In this regard, he mentioned the implementation of One Rank, One Pension, which had been pending for decades.Protecting the motherland, far from your loved ones, displaying the highest traditions of sacrifice, all soldiers at the nation’s borders, are symbols of bravery and dedication, Modi said.”I have an opportunity to spend the festival of Diwali with you. The presence of brave soldiers at the border, on this festive occasion, lights the lamp of hope, and generates new energy among crores of Indians,” the prime minister wrote in the visitors’ book.”To accomplish the dream of ‘New India’, this is a golden opportunity for all of us to work together. The Army too is a part of it,” he added.Modi later tweeted about his visit to Gurez. “Glad to have celebrated Diwali with our brave Army and BSF Jawans in the Gurez Valley, Jammu and Kashmir,” he tweeted.”Spending time with our Forces gives me new energy. We exchanged sweets & interacted. Happy to know the Jawans practice Yoga regularly,” he said.”Our Forces protect our Motherland with utmost valour, displaying highest traditions of sacrifice and dedication,” he said in another tweet.

Fire at Kolkata high-rise brought under control, SBI office gutted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A massive fire broke out on Thursday on the 16th floor of a commercial building in central Kolkata, gutting the global market office of the State Bank of India (SBI).Thirteen fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire that originated from the server room of the SBI’s global department at the Jeevan Sudha building, a fire brigade official said. “The furniture and computer peripherals were damaged in the fire but there was no fear of data loss as the files were stored in the disaster recovery cells of Mumbai and the local head office in Kolkata,” the general manager (global market office) of SBI, Ventakesh Bharadwaj, said.The chief general manager (Kolkata circle) of SBI, P P Sengupta, said there was no news of anyone getting trapped on the floor. Although it was a holiday for Diwali, the employees rushed to the site as soon as the news of the fire spread, the general manager said. The building on the Jawaharlal Nehru Road has 19 floors and houses the offices of the SBI and the LIC and other financial organisations.
ALSO READ Watch: Fire rages at LIC building in central Kolkata; 10 fire tenders pressed into service Deputy Fire Director Sameer Chowdhary on Thursday afternoon assured that the situation is under control. He, however, added that the cause of the fire is yet to be determined. ” The fire is now under control completely, and there is no chance of it to increase. Nobody was injured in the incident. However, some office furniture and electronics were damaged. The reason of the fire will be determined only after the forensic team completes its probe,” he told reporters here.

Owaisi mocks ‘supreme commander’ PM Modi for wearing camouflage while interacting with jawans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today celebrated Diwali with troops posted along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez Sector and lauded the soldiers for their penance and sacrifice saying he considers them his family. In an unannounced visit, Modi arrived at Gurez this morning to celebrate Diwali with the army and BSF soldiers posted along the LoC, officials said.He spent two hours with the soldiers in Gurez valley, which is shouting distance of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and has witnessed many gunfights with infiltrating militants in the past 27 years.Reacting to PM Modi meeting jawans, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi wrote: “Finally “Supreme Commander “dons what he always wanted to.”This is the fourth successive Diwali that the prime minister has celebrated with jawans on the border. Chief of the Army Staff Gen B S Rawat and other senior army officers were present on the occasion. Modi offered sweets and exchanged greetings with the jawans, the officials said. Addressing the jawans, he said like everyone else, he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family. Therefore, he had come among the jawans of the armed forces, whom he considers to be his “family”, he said. Modi said he gets new energy when he spends time among the jawans and soldiers of the armed forces and appreciated their penance and sacrifice, amid harsh conditions. The prime minister said that he had been told that the jawans present at the gathering regularly practice yoga. He said that this would definitely enhance their abilities, and give them a sense of calm. He said jawans, who leave the armed forces after completing their duty tenure, can become excellent yoga trainers subsequently. The prime minister spoke of the new resolve that each Indian citizen must make for 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence. He also encouraged the jawans to innovate, so that their routine tasks and duties become easier and safer and mentioned how best innovations are now being recognised and awarded at the Army Day, Navy Day, and Air Force Day. Modi said the Centre is committed to the welfare and the betterment of the Armed Forces, in every way possible.In this regard, he mentioned the implementation of One Rank, One Pension, which had been pending for decades. Protecting the motherland, far from your loved ones, displaying the highest traditions of sacrifice, all soldiers at the nation’s borders, are symbols of bravery and dedication, Modi said. “I have an opportunity to spend the festival of Diwali with you.The presence of brave soldiers at the border, on this festive occasion, lights the lamp of hope, and generates new energy among crores of Indians,” the prime minister wrote in the visitors’ book. “To accomplish the dream of ‘New India’, this is a golden opportunity for all of us to work together. The Army too is a part of it,” he added.With inputs from PTI

Watch: Fire rages at LIC building in central Kolkata; 10 fire tenders pressed into service

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fire broke out around 10.20 am on the 16th floor of a commercial building on Jawaharlal Nehru Road in central Kolkata.The floor housed the server room of the State Bank of India’s global market office.The chief general manager (Kolkata circle) of SBI, P P Sengupta, said there was no news of anyone getting stuck on the floor.Ten fire tenders have been pressed into service to douse the raging fire on the 17th floor of Jeevan Sudha building, a fire brigade official said.Eyewitnesses said the fire was fast spreading to the other floors of the building.The building, which has 19 floors, houses offices of SBI and LIC branches and other financial organizations.

Rajasthan CM visits Ajmer with slew of new projects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stepping up her effort to woo voters for the upcoming by-elections in the state, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje travelled to Ajmer on Tuesday. The CM made major announcements for the thousands of people living in and around Nasirabad army cantonment area, which earlier fell under the defence land and development works. Hence, development works in the area could not be undertaken by the local or government bodies. However, now the people will get benefits of both state and central government schemes without any trouble, the CM added.Two days after denotifying four wards, Raje on Tuesday also promised to denotify rest four wards in the region, making all eight wards out of cantonment area. Nasirabad will soon be a municipality area, she said.”Defence ministry officials are taking forward the process of denotifying the civil areas and merging them with Nasirabad Municipality. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already given a nod to denotify four wards (4,5,6,7) falling under Nasirabad army cantonment. Now, the remaining four wards will be denotified as well. A process in this regard will be tabled in the state cabinet,” said Raje, doling out sops to the locals in Nasirabad, where by-poll is due after the death of MP Sanwer Lal Jat.The CM, while having dialogues with locals, also explained that they no longer need to roam around the army headquarter to get the permission of basic needs such as like electricity, water connection and permission for roads.”When Nasirabad will become a municipality the civilians living here will also get benefits from the state and central government schemes without any hazard,” said Raje.Locals issues, which have been pending, were also addressed by Raje who is touring the parliamentary constituency second time in last two weeks. She has announced to allocate Rs2 crore budget to develop Gaurav Path at Balwanta Crossing, an underpass or footbridge at Tilwara on National Highway-8 and several other road projects. Soon, a DTO (district transport office) will also be opened at Nairabad too, said Raje.POLL POLITICSTwo days after denotifying four wards, Raje promised to denotify rest four wards in the region, making all eight wards out of cantonment area.
Nasirabad will soon be a municipality area, the CM said.

Amit Shah targets CPM over political violence in Kerala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trying to make deep inroads in Left bastion of Kerala, the BJP managed to create a flutter in the State capital on Tuesday by carrying out a procession of about 10,000 people.BJP chief Amit Shah who led the six kilometer-long foot march on the culmination of 15 days long Janaraksha Yathra lashed out at the CPM government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for fueling the violence against RSS and BJP workers.Adressing an enthusiastic crowd at Putharikkandam grounds in the heart of state capital, Shah accused CPM of going on a murdering spree whenever in power.”Even after 70 years of independence, if the CPM thinks that it can suppress ideology through violence I challenge them they cannot stop BJP’s ideology,” said Shah amid applause. Though Shah spoke in Hindi with the help of an interpreter, he managed to have audience’s rapt attention.Taking a dig at CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury who accused BJP for laying a siege of CPM’s headquarters in Delhi, Shah asked, “He calls it’s unprecedented and undemocratic but I want to ask him is bombing our offices democracy?”Shah also asked Vijayan to talk to the BJP on development issues saying that it was under Prime Minister Modi’s government Kerala got a share of Rs1,03, 848 crore by the 14 th finance commission. Under the UPA-I government Kerala got paltry sum of Rs14,393 crore.In the build up to Shah’s speech, several state BJP leaders addressed the rally including state chief Kumbhana Rajshekharan, district president of Thiruvananthapuram, Advocate Suresh and Tushar Vellapally.”Today’s rally strength has shown that the BJP is number one party in Thiruvananthapuram. It’s going to win hands down in the next elections,” said Advocate Suresh in a fiery speech.Rajshekharan, the BJP’s tallest leader in Kerala questioned Vijayan for not taking any action against Transport minister Thomas Chandy whose name came up in amassing huge land tracts. He also raised question mark on why the person responsible for burning two people alive in Palaghat was made the block President by Vijayan.Several leaders of BJP including general secretary Ramlal, ministers KJ Alphonse, Ashwani Choubey were also present at the rally.

NCP wins in village adopted by Devendra Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After claiming victory in the first round of Gram Panchayat elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a setback of sorts in the second leg, with the Opposition triumphing over BJP candidates in villages adopted by Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule.In Phetari village near Nagpur, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) claimed Dhanashri Dhomane won against BJP’s Jyoti Raut. It needs to be noted that Gram Panchayat elections are not contested on party symbols and the winning candidate is claimed by the party he or she is close to. Dhomane got 805 votes, while Raut got 710 votes. The result is significant as the village has been adopted by the CM under the Model Village Scheme.Fadnavis made light of the result, saying he had left it to the villagers whom they wanted as their sarpanch and did not appeal to vote for a specific candidate.Similarly, in Suradevi village in Vidarbha, Congress claimed victory against a candidate owing allegiance to BJP. Mukesh Dhomane, elected Sarpanch Danshri’s husband, told DNA that anger against BJP-led government policies reflected in votes. “Farmers are not happy with the BJP government for the delay in the farm loan waiver,” he said, “Unemployment is also a major issue in rural areas. People had hoped that the BJP government would bring some positive change in their lives, but nothing of sort happened. On the contrary, demonetisation and GST has adversely affected and worsened lives of peoples.”Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president, reiterated that the BJP was going on a return journey after Nanded. “This trend is now sweeping across Maharashtra, he said. “People have now realised that the BJP can only make tall promises, but it falters when it comes to fulfilment. People are losing jobs and inflation is also at an all-time high. Therefore, people want the Congress-NCP regime back.”Chavan further claimed that the Congress had got more seats and Sarpanch posts than any other party in the Grampanchayat elections. “Congress is the clear choice for the people; It has emerged the largest gainer in this Grampanchayat elections,” he added.NCP leader Ajit Pawar, too, attributed the turnaround in Congress-NCP fortunes to farmers’ discontent, the section that was most affected by government policies. “The rise in minimum support price has not been substantial,” Pawar told DNA. “When the BJP was in Opposition, they demanded Rs 7,000 per quintal as the rate for cotton. Even after three years in power, farmers are forced to sell their produce at much lower rate – between Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,500 per quintal. BJP has failed to fulfil its own promises. Therefore they are losing everywhere – from Gurudaspur in Punjab to villages in Vidharbha.”

Embrace and take pride in heritage: Narendra Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP made an attempt to douse the fire on the Taj Mahal controversy triggered by BJP MLA Sangeet Som’s comments that the monument was “a blot on Indian culture,” leaving the party red-faced.Underlining the significance of history and heritage in a nation’s development, the Prime Minister said no country can develop by ignoring its past. “No country could develop, however hard it might try, without embracing and taking pride in its history, heritage, culture and traditions. Countries that chose to forget heritage over development are sure to lose their identity,” he said, while speaking at the inauguration of the nation’s first All India Institute of Ayurveda, planned on the lines of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science) in Delhi’s Sarita Vihar.BJP MLA Sangeet Som had, on Monday, questioned the Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage and said history would be rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who had earlier said that the Taj Mahal did not reflect Indian culture, made a U-turn a day after Som said the monument was “built by traitors”. He said that the Taj was a historical monument, regardless of the emperor who had built it.”It is immaterial as to who and how the Taj Mahal was built…,” Adityanath said in Gorakhpur, “It was made by the sweat and blood of Bharat Mata’s sons. It is famous the world over for its architecture… it is a historical monument and its protection and further development for tourism is the responsibility of the government.”In a fire-fighting measure, he also announced that he would visit Agra on October 26 to review tourism schemes of the state government.”Our government is working to develop tourism around Kalinjer Fort (in Banda) and Rani Laxmibai’s Fort in Jhansi as well as the Chunar Fort (in Mirzapur),” he added.Som’s comments on the Taj Mahal had come after the Adityanath government omitted the 17th century monument from an official booklet on tourist destinations within the state.Meanwhile, after AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi questioned, on Monday, whether the Prime Minister would stop hoisting the flag from the Red Fort as it was “built by the same group of traitors”, Samajwadi Party general secretary Azam Khan was quick to quip that monuments such as the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, Qutub Minar and Red Fort should be demolished as they too were “symbols of slavery”, just like the Taj Mahal.BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao, on Monday, tried to defend Som. He had described Muslim rule in India as “barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance” and asserted that BJP members could hold any opinion they wanted on specific monuments.

Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Elections: BJP leave Cong, Sena, NCP in the dust; win 1311 seats out of 3692

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the second phase of panachayat election in Maharashtra, the BJP did magnificently to win 1311 seats followed by Congress who finished a distant second with 312.Sharad Pawar’s NCP came third with 297, while the Sena managed to capture 295 seats.A total of 3692 gram panchayats spread over 16 districts went to polls in the second phase.Hailing the performance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter: “Great result in Phase 2 of the Gram Panchayat polls! Thank you Maharashtra. The continued faith in BJP inspires us to work even harder.”However, there was a minor jolt for Maha CM Fadanvis in his adopted village Fetri where the Congress-NCP backed candidate won. Dhanashree Dhomne of Congress-NCP alliance was elected as the sarpanch in Fetri village, adopted by the chief minister.Transgender sarpanch elected In a first in Maharashtra, a transgender was today elected sarpanch of a gram panchayat in the state.Dnyandev Shankar Kamble was declared elected sarpanch for the Tarangfal gram panchayat in Malshiras tehsil of Solapur district. Kamble defeated six other candidates.Polling was held yesterday and results were declared today.Elections were also held for panchayats in various parts of Maharashtra yesterday. Around 81 per cent polling was reported, a State Election Commission official saidWith inputs from PTI

Punjab: Killing of RSS leader is eighth murderous attack since 2016

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The killing of RSS leader Ravinder Gosain in Ludhiana today was one in a series of high-profile murderous attacks on activists belonging to religious or right wing organisations that Punjab has witnessed in recent times.Two unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants shot dead 60-year-old Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leader Gosain in the Kailash Nagar locality in Ludhiana, the police said.Gosain was returning home after attending a morning drill (RSS shakha) when he was attacked, they said. He died on the spot while the attackers fled, according to police officials.The crime was the eighth such incident in the state since 2016.In June this year, a pastor, Sultan Masih, was shot dead by two motorcycle borne persons at the Peerubanda Mohalla in Ludhiana. The assailants fired multiple shots at the pastor, killing him on the spot.On the evening of February 25, two unidentified gunmen shot dead two Dera Sacha Sauda followers –Satpal (65) and his son Ramesh Kumar (35) when they were working at the sect’s canteen at Jagera village, about 55 km from Ludhiana.The duo were shot in their heads from close range.On January 14 this year, two unidentified motorcycle borne assailants shot dead the leader of an organisation called ‘Hindu Takhat’, Amit Sharma, near the Durga Mata Mandir in Ludhiana.Last year, on August 6, RSS leader Brig Jagdish Gagneja (Retd) was shot at in Jalandhar. He later died at the DMC hospital in Ludhiana.This incident led to question marks being raised over the law and order situation under the previous SAD-BJP regime.When Punjab Police failed to crack the case, it was handed over to the CBI by the then Parkash Singh Badal led government.In May 2016, a Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale was attacked as some youths opened indiscriminate fire at his cavalcade in Ludhiana. Though Dhadrianwale had a miracle escape, an aide died in the attack.In the month of April, Durga Prasad Gupta, chief of the Shiv Sena’s labour wing in Punjab was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants at Khanna near Ludhana.85-year-old Mata Chand Kaur, wife of late chief of the Namdhari sect Satguru Jagjit Singh, was also shot dead by bike-borne assailants at Bhaini Sahib complex near Ludhiana in April month last year.The previous dispensation handed over the high-profile murder case of Mata Chand Kaur to CBI.In January 2016, RSS volunteer Naresh Kumar was attacked in Ludhiana when bike-borne unidentified persons opened fire at him. However, he escaped unhurt.

Darjeeling crisis: Round 1 goes to Didi as Calcutta HC puts stay on removal of forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Calcutta High Court today put stay on the removal of central forces from strife-torn Darjeeling on Tuesday.The High Court’s decision can be termed as victor for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerje who had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh against troop withdrawal from the region.The Centre will file an affidavit in the Calcutta High Court by October 23 and the state government will file a reply on October 26. The next date of hearing in the case is on October 27.The latest friction between the Centre and Bengal government came after the Union Home Ministry on Sunday informed about the decision of withdrawing seven companies of the CRPF and three companies of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) from Darjeeling and Kalimpong from October 16.However, a notification from the MHA said that the remaining five companies of the CRPF will continue in the Hills to aid the police force till October 20.Slamming the BJP for creating a tension in the state, Banerjee had said “BJP is repeatedly trying to disturb the situation in Darjeeling. One BJP minister is directly involved.””The central government wants Bengal to be destablised, they want Bengal should be divided, and Darjeeling should face an acute problem, so that they can get one (Lok Sabha) seat from Darjeeling,” the chief minister had said.(With agencies input)

What to do on Diwali evening? No cracker of an idea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>How do you explain to a kid that she/he won’t be able to get even a sparkler this Diwali while the cousin living outside the ‘sanitised’ area of NCR can burst crackers to heart’s content?As a parent, you would have justified in your mind the Supreme Court’s ruling banning the sale of firecrackers in NCR by conjuring up images of a smoke-enveloped Delhi, people wearing face-masks, an old man breaking into asthmatic coughs. But tell that to a child who till last year was firing rockets into the sky aiming at Mars (with the firm belief that at least a couple would reach), and she/he will stare at you, bewildered. “Is Diwali cancelled?” would be the obvious question.No, Diwali has not been “cancelled,” but it has been told to shut up. The ground for that is not solid – it’s actually air. Delhi virtually choked last year under the twin forces of crop-stubble burning in neighbouring states and the normal celebration of Diwali. Hence, the legal ban on the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region. One respects the honourable court’s decision for its vision and toughness, but one also asks – what will we do then on Diwali night?Lights up, diyas arranged, decorations done, new clothes adorned, mithai consumed, gifts exchanged, plastic smiles smiled – all done by 7 pm. Now what? You can’t possibly repeat the cycle, so what do you do? Single malt? Yes, perhaps… considering its repeat value. But what’ll the all-dressed-up-but-nothing-to-burst seven-year-old do? The ubiquitous iPad comes out from somewhere, a bean bag emerges, a fizzy cold drink is popped open, and hey… ‘Happy Diwali’ is over.This could have been Happy Anyday.Couldn’t at least Diwali day been spared from the ban on the sale of firecrackers? A few hours in the evening designated for a bit of mindless fun? I am sure these were debated by the honourable judges, but then we, the people of NCR, are notorious for not following strictures and timelines. Who’ll go and stop the family living in house no. XX in Geeta Colony from bursting ‘chocolate bombs’ at 11 pm? A potent argument, considering that we revel in disobedience.There have been repeated strictures on fireworks during Diwali – from courts, from law-enforcement agencies and from Mother Nature herself. But we flouted them again and again. This time the doctor (read court) has decided to opt for surgery. Therefore, we are in no position to complain – we have brought it upon ourselves.Now go and tell that to the kids…(The author is Editor-in-Chief of DNA and father of a 7-year-old boy)

This Diwali, Ayodhya to see a laser show, mega aarti on Saryu ghat and 1.71 lakh diyas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From laser show to mega aarti on banks of Saryu, it would be a very special Diwali for Ayodhya this year.As part of Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath’s grand plans, 1.71 lakh earthen diyas will be lit up to make a Guinness World Record.In an interview to Zee News, CM Yogi said that the ‘Deepotsav’ is part of a grand plan to revive Ayodhya as a tourist centre.Talking about the celebrations and the importance of the ancient city, CM Yodi said, “Ramayan is 10,000 years old and Ayodhya is an integral part of it. It was a developed city even back then and people continue to come here from all over. To connect with its illustrious past is a matter of pride for us,” he said.According to a News18 report, an event management company from Gujarat has been hired specifically for this job. According to the report, a diya will be placed on every square metre in the entire city.Over 2,000 students of Faizabad’s RML Awadh University are reportedly volunteering for the event. Over 10,000 temples across the city will be decorated and a laser show will showcase the Ramayana story during the event.Earlier, UP Governor Ram Naik had said that the years of neglect faced by Ayodhya would go this year.He said the celebrations on Diwali are intended to promote Ayodhya as a tourist place.Talking about CM Yogi’s grand plans, Naik said that this is an attempt to restore Ayodhya’s lost glory and present it beautifully.Noting that Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after winning a war in Lanka, Naik said the state government wants to portray the same scene.”I believe and you can imagine that those who visit Ayodhya, whether they are domestic or foreign tourists, they all carry a wish to see Lord Rama there. We hope the government will work keeping all the aspects in mind,” the Governor was quoted as saying by the PTI.

Mamata Banerjee visits ailing ex-West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee

Updated: Oct 16, 2017, 11:49 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday visited her predecessor, senior CPI-M leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who is suffering from respiratory problems and wished him speedy recovery.Banerjee today visited Bhattacharjee at his residence to inquire about his health.He has been suffering for the past few days. “I had come to visit him. He asked me to sit, I wished him a speedy recovery. He wants his treatment to be done at home. I had spoken to his wife and assured her that we will provide all help,” she said. According to CPI(M) sources, Bhattacharjee has a history of breathing problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung ailment.

Mamata Banerjee alleges senior BJP leader of instigating violence in Darjeeling, protests troop withdrawal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday levelled serious allegations against senior BJP leaders Centre’s decision to withdraw forces from Darjeeling hills.“The Centre has, without discussing with the state, pulled out all the force from the hills. Taking such a unilateral decision is unfortunate on the part of the Central government. It is a politically and administratively bad decision. It is an undemocratic and unethical decision taken at a time when we are trying to restore peace there and recent recovery of arms and ammunition proves the involvement of Northeast insurgent groups in the violence that had taken place,” she lashed out at the Centre during a press conference at Nabanna, the state secretariat, after meeting representatives of political parties from the hills.She said she had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and hoped something positive would come from there.She alleged that the BJP was trying to engineer an unrest at the hills and create a political divide so that they can win one seat from there. Without naming BJP MP and Union minister of state for drinking water and sanitation, SS Ahluwalia, she said, “I have specific information that a BJP leader and minister is directly involved in instigating violence at the hills in order to retain the party’s victory from the Lok Sabha seat there. We have evidences which, when time comes we might make public.”Taking a potshot at Union Home Minister, she said that the Centre was meeting some people from Darjeeling who had been charged with UAPA and taking their words for granted as the actual situation at the hills and that they were not talking to people who believe in democratic values. “We will try to maintain law and order at the hills but if there is any fresh case of violence, the Centre will have to take responsibility for that. I am sorry to say that it looks like the Central government is being run from the BJP party office,” she said and referring to the recent visit of state BJP president Dilip Ghosh at Darjeeling added that it was based on the reports of his visit that forces were withdrawn.Ghosh however, later said that deploying and removing of Central forces was a prerogative of the Centre. “She had instigated and fuelled violence at the hills and why does she need the Centre to save her skin?” he said. Mamata also said that the next meeting between the state government and hill parties would take place at Pintail Village in Darjeeling on November 21.Representatives of all parties at the hills other than Dr Harka Bahadur Chhetri’s Jan Andolan Party (JAP) were present at the meeting on Monday. Talking to mediapersons, Chhetri expressed his dissatisfaction towards the state government for his reason being absent from the meeting. “Our stand is clear and just as it had been in the last two meetings. There should be a tripartite talk among the Centre, the state and the parties at the hills. Also the GJM leaders about three months ago had burnt the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) accord, so it should be revoked as it can prove to be an impediment in the formation of a separate state. Moreover only one party of Binay Tamang is consulted in the name of an all-party meeting,” Chhetri said.

Delhi Court seeks info on plea against Digvijaya Singh for ‘abusive’ tweet about PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Delhi court on Monday sought clarifications on whether an offence of defamation was made out against senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for allegedly tweeting defamatory contents against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his followers.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Babru Bhan, who heard part arguments on the complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Singh, sought clarification from the complainant on the offence of defamation under the IPC.The court posted the matter for further hearing on November 29.During the hearing, complainant advocate Gaurav Gulati argued that Singh had allegedy posted a derogatory picture on Twitter on September 8 and captioned it with abusive words against the Prime Minister.He alleged that the picture was orginally posted by a journalist and was re-tweeted by the Congress General Secretary who had committed an “outrageous and shameful act”.He sought lodging of an FIR against Singh for offences under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153 (promoting enmity against different groups on grounds of religion, place of birth, language), 469 (forgery to harm reputation), 500 (defamation) and 504 (insulting with intent to provoke breach of peace) under the IPC

Proud of Taj Mahal, it’s our cultural heritage: UP government disowns Sangeet Som’s remarks, calls them ‘personal’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as criticism mounts over BJP leader Sangeet Som’s shocking statement on Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh government has disowned his remarks as ‘personal’.State Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi said that “we are proud of Taj Mahal. It’s our cultural heritage. There should not be any confusion on it.”She distanced herself from Sangeet Som’s speech and said that “it’s a personal statement. Anybody can have any point of view. But as afar as government is concerned, me and my Chief Minister has put it on record that we are extremely proud of the fact that Taj Mahal is housed in Uttar Pradesh.”The Sardhana MLA, who has been booked for hate speech during Muzaffarnagar riots, made shocking statements during an event in Meerut.The video that went viral showed him saying that Taj Mahal had no place India’s history.Som said, “Many people were disappointed that the Taj Mahal was removed from the Uttar Pradesh tourism booklet. What history are we talking about? The creator of Taj Mahal (Shahjehan) imprisoned his father. He wanted to wipe out Hindus. If these people are part of our history, then it is very sad and we will change this history.”The remarks came weeks after Taj Mahal was allegedly removed from the tourism booklets of UP government.However, Uttar Pradesh Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi had rejected the reports of the Taj Mahal’s exclusion from the state government’s new tourism booklet.”The Taj Mahal has been the legacy of Uttar Pradesh and hence, claiming that the government is ignoring it is wrong,” Joshi had said.

Jaipur man missing in capsize off Philippines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Jaipur-based person, working as a chief engineer in a shipping company, has gone missing along with nine others after the vessel carrying a crew of 26 Indians capsized in the Pacific off the Philippines. The over 33000-tonne vessel was carrying nickel ore as cargo which may have liquified leading to the incident. The Search and Rescue (SAR) team has rescued 16 crew members.The missing chief engineer, identified as Shyam Singh, is a native of Tamkore village in Jhunjhunu district and currently a resident of Jhotwara area of the city. Speaking to DNA, Shyam Singh’s brother, Sher Singh, himself a captain in Merchant Navy, said, “The Ship was sailing from Indonesia to China with nickel ore. It is a dangerous cargo which shifts on its own. Probably that resulted in the capsizing of the vessel.”Nickel ore is the deadliest dry bulk commodity that is shipped by sea. As a cargo that turns to the slurry during a voyage, nickel ore causes many vessels to capsize. The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners states that ore is at a high risk of liquefying if it holds too much moisture.The incident occurred around 2 am on October 13. “The weather was rough. We have learned from the rescued crew members that everyone was wearing life jackets. Though the weather was bad for the last two days, it is improving now and we have made a written appeal to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre to continue the search operation aggressively,” Sher Singh said.Notably, the Japanese Coast Guard received the distress signal of the vessel when it was about 280 km east of Philippines. Bulk carriers Densa Cobra and SM Samarinda rescued 11 and 5 crew members respectively. With the weather clearing out after two days, the search would be intensified, Shyam Singh’s family members echoed.DEADLIEST BULKNickel ore is the deadliest dry bulk commodity that is shipped by sea. As a cargo that turns to the slurry during a voyage, nickel ore causes many vessels to capsize. The ore is at a high risk of liquefying if it holds too much moisture.

DNA Observation: Netas’ apathy pours water on govt’s pet Jal scheme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan (MJSA), one of the most ambitious projects of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, is getting all the financial assistance from several organisations but is lacking the support of players of its own turf, the political class.The water sustainability scheme of the state government is getting crores through donation as an aid from several institutions, industries and religious organisations, but what dashes the hopes are the funds received from the particular ‘political class’, which is Rs 27,000 (rounded off) in the first phase and nearly Rs 5,00,000 in the second phase.Whereas, the other organisations donated Rs 35 crore in the first phase and Rs 22.60 crore in the second phase. Notably, only three donations of Rs 27,000 (first phase), and five donations of Rs 4.72 lakhs (second phase) came from the political treasuries.WHAT IS MJSA?Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan is launched by Government of Rajasthan for water conservation. The main aim of the project is to benefit 21,000 villages of the State by 2020. Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyaan in Rajasthan has been very helpful to conserve or save the water in the state. The government had a budget of Rs 3,600 crores for the first phase of the campaign.

Response to yatra shows love of people: Gujarat BJP chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven lakh BJP workers are expected to congregate at the Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan to be held in Bhat, close to capital Gandhinagar, on Monday. The sammelan will mark the conclusion of the 15-day Gujarat Gaurav Yatra, carried out by ruling BJP. The event saw a slew of national leaders, including chief ministers of several BJP-ruled states. The sammelan will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.BJP state president Jitu Vaghani in a press conference held in the city said the response to the party’s yatra in Gujarat made it clear that people love the party and know about its contribution to the state.Taking potshots at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Vaghani compared him to the migratory birds that visit Gujarat. “Some leaders who visit Gujarat are like the migratory birds. The people of the state will show them the door. I want to ask Rahulbhai why he comes here only during the elections. Where is he during the rest of the year?” Vaghani said.He also said the local leaders in the opposition party did not have a good connect with the people. “This is why they have to get leaders from Delhi to address people. The local Congress leaders have no connection with the people. The electorate does not see them as trustworthy,” said Vaghani.To a question on video evidence that the BJP’s public rallies had several empty chairs during the yatra, Vaghani said those may have been taken before or after the rally. “You never know when those videos were taken.

PM in city for mega rally today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming back to his home state on Monday for another rally. But, unlike his earlier outings, this one is going to be a game-changer, both for its scale — more than seven lakh BJP workers are expected to attend — and for the timing — his speech should do the job of a morale booster for party workers who will be tackling the anti-incumbency factor in the poll-bound state.The PM will be addressing party workers in Bhat village near Ahmedabad. Political observers feel every word that will come from the PM will ignite the passion in lakhs of party workers. It’s not the anti-incumbency sentiments, the party also has to find ways to bounce back in the face of widespread social media campaigns against it.But party workers have faith in their leader. Calling him a role model, BJP Yuva Morcha vice-president in Ahmedabad, Poras Patel, said, “Modi means Gujarat for us. He is the synonym for development, and he is our pride. He has been always a source of inspiration for us and his speech tomorrow (Monday) is going to energise us. His speech will silence the anti-BJP voices that have been hogging social media platforms.”Another BJP worker Rajesh Desai said, “Modi’s words are like Gita for us. If we follow his directions, we will win more than 150 seats. We will take his development agenda to every household in Gujarat and will convince every voter that only BJP is can think of their development.”Among the seven lakh party workers who will attend the rally, the significant presence will be of page pramukhs, who are in charge of voters listed on a single page of voters list. Page pramukhs are the mascots of the BJP and part of its micro plans for poll campaigns. It is said that the concept was introduced by Modi himself during the Assembly elections in 2012.BJP spokesperson Harshad Patel said, “A rally of this scale, where a party leader will address workers in such large numbers, will be the first in country’s history.””It will be a record of sorts. BJP is a cadre-based party and workers are its backbone. They look up to Modi for inspiration and he knows it well. That is why we believe this rally is going to be a game-changer in the current political trend in state,” Patel noted.”Earlier, Amitbhai (Amit Shah, party’s national president) addressed workers in three different regions of the state. The PM’s address will focus on development programmes anchored by both central and state governments. Since he himself started as a party worker, he understands how workers can be inspired and what miracles they are capable of if guided properly. We have high hopes from this rally,” Patel added.VADODARA VISITPM Modi’s visit on October 23 to Bhavnagar for the inauguration of RoRo Ferry service may be cancelled and instead he may visit Vadodara on October 22 to inaugurate several public projects there, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said on Sunday. However, he did not confirm whether the PM would visit Bhavnagar the next day

PM Modi leads from the front: Nitish Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today lavished praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he “leads from the front” and takes responsibility for success and failure alike.”The most important thing in running a government is to provide leadership. It is very important to lead from the front for any leader who is running a government. Narendra Modi is such a leader,” he said. “As a former MP, I have seen many PMs who hesitated in leading from the front. During the Congress regimes in the country it was also seen that some people got credit for achievements which were never theirs while others received brickbats for failures which they could not be blamed for.Things are different under Modi,” the JD(U) chief said. Kumar made these comments at the release a book ‘Sava Arab Bharatiyon Ka Sapna’ authored by senior Gujarat-based journalist Uday Mahurkar.The Bihar chief minister lauded the prime minister for having taken “courageous” decisions like demonetisation, GST and surgical strikes, which were criticised by opposition parties. Kumar said he always supported these measures, which were tough but necessary for the welfare of people.Defending his decision to quit the 3-party Grand Alliance, Kumar said, “There can be no compromise with corruption. The decision was taken keeping the interest of Bihar in mind”. Kumar’s JD(U) had quit the “Mahagathbandhan” – comprising the Congress and Lalu Prasad’s RJD in July this year. He quit the alliance and joined hands with the BJP after the RJD rejected his suggestion that Prasad’s son and the then deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav give an explanation in public over corruption cases lodged by the CBI against the father-son duo in the hotels for land scam.After Kumar resigned as the chief minister, the BJP immediately offered support for forming a new government which he accepted. Speaking at the same function, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi praised both the prime minister and Kumar, saying “I see very little difference in their style of functioning. Our chief minister has rich experience in governance and he has taken many praiseworthy decisions”.BJP national secretary general Anil Jain lamented that the Modi government was coming under attack through various campaigns like “Vikas pagal ho gaya hai (development has gone mad)” on social media which was recently used by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to target the prime minister. Nitish, while delivering his speech, told Jain, “Have courage. Do not get perturbed by such campaigns. Those who act courageously always succeed”.

Maha govt ropes in private agencies to publicise schemes on social media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra government’s publicity wing, the DGIPR, has empanelled advertising agencies to help publicise the state government’s schemes and policies.According to a Government Resolution issued by the state government on October 12, the agencies would develop and upload on various social media platforms, creative content or adapt the already available creative.”The content include, but are not limited to banners, videos, info graphics, graphics, cartoons, animation,” the GR stated.The GR added that the agencies would upload posts on social media platforms, post blogs and articles related to the government’s campaign, curate topics on related hashtags on digital platforms.Meanwhile, a clarification issued by the government stated that the government has not hired any private advertising firm for publicity of its policies and schemes.”Maharashtra Government has not hired any private advertising firm for publicity of its policies and schemes. It is a routine exercise of empanelment of agencies since last so many years,” an official statement said.”No work has been allocated to any of the agencies till now and when DGIPR budget is not more than Rs 50 crore, its absurd how allegations are made for provision of Rs 300 crore. This entire procedure is no way related to social media.”Such empanelment has happened during earlier regime too. This is age old practice to empanel various agencies for various type of works. As per the Hon Supreme Court order it is mandatory to have one centralised system to release all the advertisements,” it said.”After this order by Hon Supreme Court the Maharashtra Government issued one GR making it mandatory to all its ministries, departments, divisions, corporations to issue advertisements only through DGIPR,” the statement said.”As the two-year tenure of previous empanelment is about to expire, procedure has been undertaken for appointment of new agencies. The said GR is just of a new empaneled agencies. Not a single work has been allocated to any of them and there is no separate status given to them,” the government said in the statement.NCP chief Sharad Pawar had on Saturday said the government is misusing peoples money to counter its detractors.”Earlier the same work was done by the DGIPR. By appointing event management companies, the government is misusing peoples money to answer those who speak against it,” said Pawar, a former chief minister.”The government has realised that the social media which helped them win elections has now turned against it,” Pawar added.State Congress chief Ashok Chavan termed it a “wasteful expenditure”.”On one hand the government is levying exorbitant surcharge on fuel in the name of farmers, but farmers are under severe stress as the government claims it has no money for granting loan waiver. How can it spend such a huge amount on publicity?” he asked.

Kerala CM creating atmosphere of fear says BJP leader Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa Chief Minister and BJP leader Manohar Parrikar on Sunday regretted that while the BJP government at the centre was trying to take the nation on the development path, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was ‘creating an atmosphere of fear.'”While BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to take the nation on the path of development, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is creating an atmosphere of fear,” he said.Participating in the ongoing ‘Jana Raksha Yatra’ to expose the alleged ‘red terror and jihadi’ under the CPI(M) led LDF rule in the state, he said all people inKerala should unite to remove the ‘tainted’ image of the state, due to attacks on BJP and RSS workers, allegedly by Marxist party workers.”Well cultured people of the state should denounce the political violence of the CPI(M)”, he said adding all should become torch bearers of change.’He said India was in the path of change and people across the world acknowledge this fact.BJP Mahila Mocha All India President Vijaya Rahatkar was among those joined the two-week long padyatra, led by party state president Kummanom Rajasekharan.

Kerala: Another RSS worker hacked in Kunnur, critical; BJP accuses CPI(M)

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An RSS worker was on Sunday hacked, allegedly by CPI(M) workers, at Muzhuppilangad near Thalassery in the politically volatile Kannur district of Kerala.According to the police, the condition of Nidesh (28), the RSS worker, was critical and he had been shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College hospital.He had suffered injuries on his hands and legs, the police said.The local BJP unit alleged that the workers of the CPI (M), the ruling party in Kerala, was behind the attack on Nidesh.The police suspect that the attack was carried out by bike-borne persons at around 5.30 PM on a road near the Muzhuppilangad beach.Additional police personnel have been deployed in the area as a precautionary measure.Kannur in north Kerala has a history of political violence between the workers of the CPI(M) and BJP-RSS.The saffron party is currently taking out a ‘Janaraksha Yatra’, protesting against attacks on its workers, allegedly by CPI(M) workers, in the southern state.The march, which was flagged off by BJP chief Amit Shah at Kannur on October 3, is scheduled to conclude at state capital Thiruvananthapuram on October 17. Shah is expected to be present in Thiruvananthapuram on that day.State BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan is leading the march, which reached Kollam today.

NGT directs Centre to submit report on steps to clean Ganga

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh and the Uttarakhand governments to file affidavits stating what steps they have taken to comply with its directions to clean the Ganga in the stretch between Gomukh and Unnao.The green panel, in a detailed judgement, had passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate Ganga, declaring as ‘No Development Zone’ an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also asked all the stakeholders to state what course of action they propose to take in relation to Phase-2 from Kanpur to the UP border.”We make it clear that in the event now the compliance is not made, to the directions of the tribunal, we will be compelled to pass coercive orders. Let copy of this order be provided to the chief secretaries of UP and Uttarakhand.”All the counsels appearing for their respective clients will inform these directions to them. Copy of this order, also, be sent to DG of National Mission for Clean Ganga; Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for compliance,” the bench said.The matter is listed for next hearing on October 24.The tribunal had earlier, in a detailed judgement, said the government has spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to clean the Ganga which still remains a “serious environmental issue”.The order, running into 543 pages, said “till the demarcation of floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the state government of this judgement, we direct that 100 metres from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone between Haridwar to Unnao in UP.”‘No-development zones’ are areas where no construction including commercial or residential buildings can come up.It also imposed a complete prohibition on disposal of municipal solid waste, e-waste or bio-medical waste on the floodplains or into the river and its tributaries.The tribunal reiterated its earlier order of ban on mechanical mining in Ganga and said “no in-stream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the flood plain should be semi-mechanical and preferably more manual.”

SC seeks Centre’s response on guidelines for abortion beyond 20 weeks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has sought a response from the government on framing of guidelines for setting up a permanent mechanism for termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks in exceptional cases.A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra issued notices to the ministries of health, women and child development and the Medical Council Of India and sought their reply in four weeks.The apex court, however, refused to amend the 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act which prohibits termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks, saying that the issue fell within the legislative domain.”On a perusal of the reliefs sought, we find that as far as the prayer is concerned, that is in legislative realm, hence we are not inclined to address the said prayer.”Issue notice, fixing a returnable date within four weeks,” the bench said.The top court was hearing a plea filed by Karnataka-based Anusha Ravindra seeking amendment of the 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act for an abortion of foetuses older than 20 weeks involving rape survivors and women with abnormal foetus.The plea, filed through advocate Abhinav Ramkrishna, also sought constitution of a committee for setting up a permanent mechanism for expedient termination of pregnancies beyond 20 weeks in the exceptional cases involving rape survivors and women with abnormal foetus under safe medical facilities with adequate inputs from an association of professionals and experts.

1 dead, 1 injured in wall collapse

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two construction labor workers were trapped under debris after a wall collapsed during a building renovation on Saturday. One of the workers died in the incident, while the other was rescued and rushed to the hospital.The incident took place at 11.45am in one of the buildings in the Shahpur Halim Ni Khadki area. The owner of the house, Kanti Tapanbhai, was renovating his house when one of the walls of the building collapsed and two labourers were trapped under the debris. Soon after the incident, nearby people rushed to the spot and rescued one of the workers and rushed him to the Civil hospital.Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Service department was informed and officials rushed to the spot and started the rescue operation. It took one and a half hours for the team to dig out the worker’s body from the debris.The deceased worker was identified as Prabhat Bariya,35, a resident of Godhara, while the injured was identified as Raju Thakor, 30, a resident of Paldi, who was going through treatment in Civil hospital.Rajesh Bhatt, Additional Chief Fire officer, said, “Due to the narrow roads, the rescue operation team was not able to reach the spot on time. The huge debris was removed with the help of machines and it began to get difficult for us to reach the spot. The adjacent building has also been damaged and weakened and it is risky to live in it.”

UP in Public Eye: The Yogi of Karma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Broad smile on the face of UP CM Yogi Adityanath says it all. The Karma Yogi has been successful in leaving his mark on development of all sectors in just six months of his annexation. The journey has just begun. Every step he takes promises to end up becoming a giant leap of development. The 21st chief minister of UP, Yogi is truly gifted with the vision of 21st century. The dream which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had seen looks all set to be fulfilled by this selfless chief minister, who has always remained in the limelight ever since he was sworn-in. No wonder the Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped praises on Yogi, saying that under his leadership the state has set its feet on the road to progress, development and prosperity.”The entire country is keenly following what was happening in Uttar Pradesh and I am happy to note that under Yogi and his team, the state is headed for development like never before,” Modi had said at an event. Modi is not the only one. The entire state is appreciating the wind of change that the state is experiencing after the ‘Jungle Raj’. The law and order situation which had completely crumpled during previous governments is now well placed to deal with any extremity. There has been no case of riot during in his tenure – a tight slap on those who has termed BJP as a communal party and a threat to minorities. The government initiated huge crack down on land mafias, illegal mining and criminal activities ending up 430 encounters in 6 months that wiped out several dreaded criminals. The cleaning up exercise of newly constituted Anti-Land mafia Task Force removed a large number of illegal occupants to send shiver down the spine of all those involved in unlawful activities. The anti-Romeo squad curbed the incidents of eve-teasing, public attacks on women, molestation, harassment, and rape. The peace and serenity in the state is harbinger of prosperity and business opportunities that are knocking at the doors of Uttar Pradesh, which is endowed with rich natural resources and immense talent pool.People of Uttar Pradesh have brought the Yogi Government for a purpose. And their purpose is being met. The most neglected lot – farmers which comprise a major chunk of state’s population have got a real sympathiser in Yogi.The chief minister while ensuring timely payment to 95% sugarcane farmers, also announced loan waiver of Rs 36000 crore to benefit 86 lakh small and marginal farmers. This has not only added credibility to the Yogi government but also sent message loud and clear that the government is for the downtrodden classes of the society.Roads in UP, which were responsible for the bumpy rides of previous governments, have now given way to smooth pothole free passages. In first 100 days itself, 80km of roads were recarpeted. The power and water situations have also improved. 16 lakh free electricity connections were issued, which benefitted 6 lakh BPL families. Skill development programmes were launched to bring jobless youth to mainstream. Over 6 lakh young people were added to the skill workforce of the largest populated state.“Stage is all set for the economic revolution in UP. Stressed farmers are now loan free. They can contribute more to the development of state. With enhanced road connectivity, surplus power, uninterrupted water supply and unprecedented government support, the state is inviting industries to invest and be a partner in writing the growth story of Uttar Pradesh,” said a senior bureaucrat. As a chief minister Yogi had to take some tough decisions to respect the sentiments of people. Four days into office, his government launched a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses, prompting strong reactions from the meat traders. But that strict action wiped out illegal meat trade, bringing some relief to the harried population. True to his saintly origins, Yogi clamped down on the VIP culture. He directed ministers to remove the red beacons from their cars. He also urged all ministers to reveal their net worth to the CM secretariat within the fortnight. He also announced to launch enquiries into projects cleared during the previous regimes of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. These included the Gomti River Front project, the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, construction of Lohia Path in Lucknow etc.A trusted Yogi confident and Principal Secy to CM Avnish Kumar Awasthi is playing a key role in handling the media and working out strategic plans for the Chief Minister.

PM busy, Ro-Ro ferry service inauguration put off by a week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The inauguration of the Ro-Ro ferry service, connecting Dahej in south Gujarat and Ghogha in Saurashtra, will now happen on October 23 and not on October 17 as was originally planned.Prime Minister Narendra Modi was slated to inaugurate the ferry service, work on which was started when he was Gujarat Chief Minister, on October 17. However, official sources said that the inauguration would take place in the coming week and not on October 17.”The PMO has intimated us that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be able to travel to Bhavnagar for the inauguration of the ferry service on October 17 because of some other important engagements. Because of this, we have rescheduled the inauguration. The Prime Minister will inaugurate the service on October 23,” Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.Modi is also likely to travel in the inaugural ferry from Ghogha to Dahej.Meanwhile, the BJP clarified that there is no change in the party’s ‘Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan’ slated for October 16 in Bhat, Gandhinagar, which both Modi and party chief Amit Shah will attend.The ferry service between Dahej and Ghogha is expected to reduce travel time between south Gujarat and Saurashtra from 7-8 hours to under one hour. This will benefit a large number of people living in the two regions who frequently travel to the other for business or other purposes.NEW MODE OF TRAVELThe ferry service between Dahej and Ghogha is expected to reduce travel time between south Gujarat and Saurashtra from 7-8 hours to under one hour Prime Minister Narendra Modi was slated to inaugurate the ferry service, work on which was started when he was Gujarat CM on October 17. Modi is also likely to travel in the inaugural ferry from Ghogha to Dahej hicatio voluptia

Umesh Kumar transferred again, Singhvi gets posting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even before he took the charge as chairman of Rajasthan Tax Board, senior IAS Umesh Kumar, has been transferred for the second time in a month. Appointed as Chairman of Rajasthan Roadways on Saturday, it’s his third transfer in the last 6 months in the latest round of transfer of IAS officers.He has now been made the chairman of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation ( RSRTC). Along with him, posting has also been given to Dr Ashok Singhvi who was awaiting posting since August this year after being reinstated by the state government. He has been made director general of Indira Gandhi Panchayati Raj institution. The transfer order of Umesh Kumar was, however, not surprising. He was transferred as chairman of Rajasthan Tax Board, Ajmer, on 5th of this month.However, instead of joining the post, he proceeded on leave. Sources informed that it was only after the central intervention that he has been given “good posting”. It’s now being asked in corridors of power whether he would join this post or not.However, since he is back in Jaipur from Ajmer, there is a strong possibility of him taking up the charge of chairman of roadways which is already passing through challenging times. Umesh Kumar, who is an IAS officer of 1983 batch, has been moved like a pendulum ever since he came back from deputation last July from Asian Development Bank in Manila. He was the executive director there. Once back, in July 2016, he was posted as an additional chief secretary at the department of Industries and also headed RIICO. However, in just 10-month’s time, he was transferred to housing board as its chairman in May 2017.In bureaucratic circles, Housing Board is considered a cold posting. However, there too Kumar was not given much time and was transferred as chairman of Rajasthan tax board this month.Meanwhile, Singhvi has got his Diwali gift, after being arrested in mining scam in 2015, he was reinstated in August this year. As such he was to be given posting as per the All India Service rules.

BJP likely to play it quiet on defections to Sena

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Whether to respond by engineering defections in Shiv Sena or to deploy former Chief Minister Narayan Rane to get corporators from Congress to defect to the Bharatiya Janata Party? BJP has, at present, decided to go slow on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) front.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been asked to take a final call on the issue. The surprise move by Shiv Sena, in which six corporators from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) defected, is being considered a significant blow to both the MNS and BJP. The blow was struck by Shiv Sena at a time when CM Fadnavis was not in the country.BJP city unit president, Ashish Shelar, had tweeted on Friday evening that the so-called `Dhamaka’ by Shiv Sena proved to be a firecracker, however, with dampened fuel.BJP city unit sources said that since the issue pertains to the BMC, the party’s state unit would not indulge in local politics. But there are two opinions within the party, especially after Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray’s statement that if Shiv Sena can do this in one day, BJP has understood what it can do in the state.One faction in BJP is of the view that former Congress leader Narayan Rane, who recently floated his own outfit Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh, can help the party to snatch corporators from both Congress and Shiv Sena.However, sources within the state unit told DNA that Chief Minister Fadnavis was not keen to go for any such defection at this juncture.Even though Fadnavis will take a final call, it is unlikely that BJP would play spoilsport and it is likely that it would allow Shiv Sena to enjoy the defection of the six MNS corporators. CM Fadnavis had assured the party leadership that he was ready to lead the party for snap polls in the state.Meanwhile, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said in Pune that it was the BJP which was trying to snatch the corporators from Shiv Sena, but failed.CheckmateEven though Fadnavis will take a final call, it is unlikely that BJP would play spoilsport. It plans to allow Shiv Sena to enjoy the defection of the six MNS corporators.Meanwhile, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said that it was the BJP which was trying to snatch corporators

J Jayalalithaa’s constituency to go to polls again by Dec

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The eight-month-old Edappadi K Palaniswami government in Tamil Nadu will yet again face a litmus test of its popularity when the bypoll to the prestigious RK Nagar Assembly seat is held in two months.Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti announced that the by-election to the RK Nagar seat, which fell vacant following the demise of then chief minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year would be held before December 31. The announcement has put the political parties in poll mode once again. Earlier, two days before polling on April 12, the commission has rescinded the bypoll citing distribution of money power and other allurements in the constituency.For the ruling unified AIADMK, winning the bypoll is an imperative. The by-election comes after the merger of the rebel faction led by O Panneerselvam with the ruling Palaniswami faction in August. To stake the claim to Jayalalithaa’s legacy, the unified AIADMK needs to re-emerge victorious in the seat held by her. Besides, it would be seen as a referendum on the popularity of the Palaniswami government by the opposition parties.The unified AIADMK is likely to field the party presidium chairman E Madhusudanan, who was also the candidate of the Panneerselvam camp in the April 12 cancelled bypoll. Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, who was the candidate for the ruling faction, is likely to contest again if one goes by the assertion of his supporter V Pugazhendi. The bypoll also comes at a time when the Election Commission is set to decide on the two leaves symbol dispute and Madras High Court hearing petition challenging disqualification of 18 MLAs owing allegiance to Dhinakaran.prestige pollsThe RK Nagar seat was last held by J JayalalithaaFirst poll the reunited factions reunited will

Nirupama Rao: From diplomat to singer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Till her retirement, and even in her post-retirement stint as India’s Ambassador to the US, former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao was known as a soft-spoken but firm diplomat.Not many are aware that even while she was trying to secure India’s interests, Rao tried to continue to hone skills of a completely different kind: singing and playing a guitar.However, her rise in the IFS circles also meant that time became the biggest constraint in her development as a singer. But, after completing her term as India’s Ambassador in the US in late 2013, Rao returned to her singing.Come December and Rao will become possibly the first senior diplomat to come out with a commercial album of songs sung by her — some of the songs in the album have also been written and composed by her.Over the past year, Rao has also been singing in a series of concerts, accompanied by well known Sri Lankan concert pianist Soundarie David Rodrigo. Dubbed Beyond Boundaries, she has performed in Bengaluru, Chennai, and Lucknow, with one coming up in Delhi.When in Delhi, she’s an eager participant at the musical soirees.These soiress involve several former diplomats and civil servants, including former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi and former Foreign Secretary and National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon.”It’s a kind of band we have of the services — with me on the keyboard and guitar, Shiv Shankar Menon singing and playing the rhythm guitar, and Madhukar Gupta, former Union Home Secretary, on percussion,” Qureishi told DNA.”I have been singing ever since I was a little girl,” said Rao. “I grew up listening to a lot of Western music, primarily, because that was what was mostly heard in Ooty where I grew up. I wasn’t much exposed to Hindi music. At 15, I started playing the guitar. Those days, we were hooked to Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and the like. I took my guitar along with me to Mussoorie for the civil services training. But music was a side thing, and when I was around 25, with work and other responsibilities, I gave it up,” Rao told DNA.But it was in Sri Lanka, where Rao was posted as Indian high commissioner from 2004 to 2006, that she really sharpened her skills. “Sri Lanka has a culture of Western music and I found a little circle of music oriented friends.This is here I met Rodrigo. For me, music was a way of building bridges between countries, of taking Indian music around the world.” In the spirit of “building bridges”, Rao’s rendition of ‘Vaishnava Jana’, Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan, is accompanied by a Sri Lankan choir.But it’s musical “preferences” rather than her public persona that seems to have guided Rao’s eclectic choice of songs for the album. Among them are operatic songs, English folk songs, pieces of musical theatre and a quaint song called ‘Ah Tiewlarun’, written by an American lyricist Max Exner about a magical flower called Tiewlarun that grows only in the mountains of Meghalaya.

ZEE announces new digital platform, unveils special logo

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Zee TV on Saturday announced `ZEE5’, a digital platform where people from across the globe will be able to enjoy Indian entertainment programmes in their respective vernacular languages. Zee TV also launched its new logo at an event held in Mumbai to celebrate Zee TV’s completion of 25 years.A dedicated logo for Dr. Subhash Chandra, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, and Chairman of the Essel Group and ZEE, was also launched at the event. Speaking at the event, Punit Goenka, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, said, “The new identity is not any evolution, but a revolution of new belief towards being stronger as one family. The new colour of the logo is a sign of transformation. Over the next few weeks, we will see the rollout of ZEE5 across India and other global markets.”He added, “ZEE5 India is poised to be the largest digital platform for Indian entertainment in the world. Bringing the best of live TV, Indian and international TV shows, movies and videos to viewers in the language of their choice and across all their internet connected devices.”Amit Goenka, CEO, International Broadcast Business, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, said, “I see excitement in the air. We are going towards a new global destination. ZEE5 is a digital platform that is born out of passion to create something new for the industry, and we are going to create a new history in the coming 25 years.”“I must mention that without the vision of our Chairman Dr Subhash Chandra, this would not have been possible today,” he said. Dr Chandra wished both Punit and Amit Goenka success.

Not written in our fate to stop: Dr Subhash Chandra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing a packed audience at a glittering event in Mumbai on Saturday evening to celebrate India’s first private channel Zee TV completing 25 years in the entertainment sector, Dr Subhash Chandra, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, and Chairman, Essel Group and ZEE, said, “We have to keep going, as it is not written in our fate to stop.”Recalling the journey of 25 years, Dr Chandra said, “I remember when we celebrated the first anniversary of Zee TV back in 1993. I had only 50 people in those days, and today, in 2017, we have more than 3,000 individuals who are a part of Zee. I believe that human resource is the biggest infrastructure that one has, and that is one of the biggest plus points for our nation.”He added, “Human resource is the biggest infrastructure of our nation. Indians should recognise their strength to become a superpower, and I want to do the same through my foundation. I want to make development the new truth of the country.”Punit Goenka, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) said, “Today we have 3,400 people here to celebrate the milestone, which is not any ordinary milestone. But this has happened because of the passion, dedication and extra ordinary steps of you all.”Goenka added, “To achieve what we are today I want each and every employee to realise their capabilities and abilities. One should realise and value his or her potential and introspect on the power of being together as one family.”Held at the Dome, National Sports Club Of India in Worli, Mumbai, the anniversary celebrations began with a resounding cheer from Zee employees on achieving the milestone. Videos of memorable moments of Zee TV since 1992, and its plans for expansion in the future, were also played on screens in the auditorium. The audience was also entertained by song and dance performances.Speaking on the occasion, Amit Goenka, CEO, International Broadcast Business, ZEEL, said, “Nothing can stop us. If you look at our journey, it defines extraordinary efforts. Today we are an international channel with operations in Europe, Africa, US and Asia-Pacific. From 1.3 billion viewers we are tapping 3 billion viewers in the next six years.”Zee TV started its operation in October 1992 and today is a global channel offering entertainment, news and information to 1.3 billion people in 173 countries and in 19 languages. ZEE has a presence across news broadcasting, movies, music, live entertainment. Its entertainment wing has more than 2,40,000 hours of television content and houses the world’s largest Hindi film library with rights to more than 4,200 movie titles in various languages.Also present at the event were Ashok Goel, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Essel Propack and Jawahar Goel, Chairman and Managing Director, Dish TV India Ltd, and Zee Media Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary.

Rahul Gandhi a man of character, says Navjot Singh Sidhu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Congress prepares to elevate Rahul Gandhi as the party president, Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday said Gandhi’s election to the post will be a game-changer for the party.Addressing party workers at a function in Amritsar, a day ahead of declaration of Gurdaspur bypoll results, Sidhu said evolution of Gandhi in recent times has been trustworthy and he’s a man of character. “He is a wonderful human being and a great example,” he said.”When the going was good, Madam (Sonia Gandhi) and Rahul bhai have sacrificed. It was easy for them in those ten years to have elevated him (Rahul) and it was very easy for her to take over everything and say I’m the Prime Minister. But did she do it? In those ten years everyone else was given opportunities and Rahul bhai was held back and when the times are tough, we have Rahul Gandhi bearing the brunt of everything, biting the bullet and marching on. He has character for it,” said Sidhu, talking to media.Sidhu, a former BJP MP from Amritsar was formally inducted into Congress a fortnight before the Punjab elections by vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.Terming him as the ‘best choice’ for the post of the party president, Sidhu said Gandhi is a credible leader and he was glad to have worked under him. “If he is made the party president, it will definitely boost spirit of party workers,” he said.Mincing no words, about his meetings with Delhi Chief Minister and AAP president Arvind Kejriwal before the Punjab Assembly elections in February, Sidhu said, “I have met Kejriwal just once, because they (AAP leaders) were so keen and harping on it and it was leaked 20 times to media. I have met Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka almost 10 times, and not a single thing was leaked to media. It shows.”‘Best choice for the post of party chief’Terming Rahul as the best choice for the post of party president, Sidhu said “his elevation will definitely boost spirit of cadre.” “Before Punjab polls, I met Kejriwal once. It was leaked to media 20 times. I met Rahul 10 times, but it was not leaked,” he said.

Amit Shah tells BJP morchas to pull up their socks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah has asked all seven Morchas to roll up their sleeves for some serious work in the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha elections.To start the process, the Kisan Morcha has been directed to prepare a force of 50,000 volunteers within the next four months. A diktat in this regard was given to the office bearers during the September 24 meeting, just a day ahead of the party’s extended national executive meet.The decision to begin with the Kisan Morcha was taken in light of the continuing farmer agitations and distress in the farming sector, which can potentially harm BJP’s prospects in 2019.The Kisan Morcha volunteers will spread awareness about several farmer-centric schemes, such as the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) to link 585 regulated agri-markets across the country, and various loan waiver schemes.Sources said Shah was unhappy that despite the extensive work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on several pro-people schemes for farmers, youth, women, SCs, and STs, not much was visible on the ground because of the lack of drive to implement these schemes.”He (Shah) specifically told the office bearers, especially the Morcha heads, that they should understand that they have been given this responsibility not as a luxury but to do the work more efficiently. The impact of these schemes should be felt on ground, just like the Ujjwala Yojana,” sources said.Meanwhile, sources told DNA that a draft booklet is being prepared. This booklet will list all that the PM has done for the farmers, including the schemes launched, the funds sanctioned, and various other steps taken by state and Central governments to benefit the sector.”All 50,000 volunteers will be given extensive training to take this forward by establishing rapport with farmers across the country, help them reap benefits, and seek redressal at the level of Gram Sabhas, BDO, district, and state. In case of lags or glitches, the volunteers would be free to bring them to the notice of the Kisan Morcha top office-bearers, who would take them up personally at the respective levels,” the source said.Besides, an unofficial committee of experts is also being constituted to prepare a report about the Modi government’s achievements regarding the farmers. The report is expected to come out in four to five weeks. In all probability, it will be released by noted agricultural expert M S Swaminathan, whose recommendations are often cited by the Opposition as the benchmark, sources said.After Kisan Morcha, the next in line would be the Mahila Morcha and the Yuva Morcha, which would repeat the same drill of training volunteers and taking the message to the masses. “The idea is to use all the Morchas to spread the awareness about the work done by the Modi government and to ensure the implementation of various schemes through a participative approach,” sources said.

Salute Kerala CM Vijayan for confronting forces trying to divide people: Arvind Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today commended his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan for “successfully confronting all those forces” trying to divide people in the name of caste and religion.Inaugurating a cultural festival jointly organised by the two states here, Kejriwal said the situation demanded unity among parties to fight the forces polarising the society.He did not name any individual or party, nor said who he was referring to. But the Kerala chief minister and the BJP have been accusing each other of unleashing political violence against the workers of the other party in the southern state.”I salute the Kerala CM for confronting all those forces that are trying to divide people. Our strength is our unity in diversity. No one likes hatred. We are people who support love and like to live in harmony,” Kejriwal said.Vijayan said this was a “time in which those speaking truth are targeted”, referring to the killings of activist- journalist Gauri Lankesh in September and rationalist M M Kalburgi in August 2015.More than 40 percussionists performed the 300-year-old art form Chenda melam at the cultural event. The chief guests were welcomed with Theyyam – a popular ritual dance form of North Malabar in Kerala. Scores of people attended the event.Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said though politically and geographically both the states were separated, culturally both were alike.”With this event we have to show the unity. I do not believe in one nation, one tax, but I do believe in one nation, one culture,” Sisodia said.The Kerala Delhi Cultural Heritage Fest, an initiative of Kerala government under Cultural Exchange Programme, would continue for two more days in Connaught Place, NDMC Hall, and the Kerala House.Kejriwal said the Delhi government would organise a similar event in Kerala in February next year.

Nitish asks for central status for Patna University, PM Modi gives no hope; Lalu cries foul

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing the gathering, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said that “it is a day of great honour” that the prime minister is present for Patna University’s centenary celebrations. He also made a fervent plea to Modi “with folded hands that central status be granted to Patna University”.However, Modi, during his address, said that measures like grant of central status were “a thing of the past” and his government has taken “a step forward” towards making 10 private universities and 10 government one’s world class.”I would like to say something about a demand that was raised here and met with loud cheers by the young crowd attending this ceremony. Issues like grant of central status have become a thing of the past. We are taking a step forward.
ALSO READ Modi and Nitish fooling people by not giving central status to Patna University: Lalu Prasad Yadav “We will provide an assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to 10 private universities and an equal number of government ones for a period of five years. All these universities have to do is to demonstrate their potential to become world class,” he said, adding, “I exhort Patna University to seize this opportunity.”RJD president Lalu Prasad today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were fooling the people of Bihar by not according central status to the Patna University (PU).
ALSO READ Nitish Kumar takes a swipe at Congress after spotting state party chief at PM’s speech; Congress calls it a joke”Both of them (Modi as well as Kumar) are making fools of people of Bihar. They must have decided beforehand that one will propose and another would dispose it (proposal for central status to PU),” Prasad told reporters at Patna’s Jay Prakash Narayan Airport on his arrival from New Delhi.Prasad had served as president of PU students’ union that provided vital support to the anti-Congress Jay Prakash Narayan movement in 1974.Prime Minister Narendra Modi also praised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his “commitment” to Bihar’s development, as the two leaders shared the stage for the first time after the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold.Modi, who attended the centenary celebrations of the Patna University (PU) here along with Kumar, said the Centre and the state government led by Kumar will work together with a pledge to bring Bihar on par with the other prosperous states by 2022.”Nitishji is committed to development of Bihar… and the central government has pledged to develop the country.Together the two will work together to ensure that Bihar is counted among the prosperous states by 2022 when the country celebrates 75 years of independence,” the prime minister said.Modi said that Bihar has been blessed by Saraswati, the Goddess of learning.”But the time has come to propitiate Laxmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity) as well and take the state to new heights of development,” he said.Modi began his speech on a humorous note, saying “the chief minister said in his speech that I was the first Prime Minister to visit this university. It seems my predecessors have left quite a few tasks for me”.Earlier, the prime minister was welcomed by Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik and the chief minister among others at the Patna airport from where he drove straight to the Patna Science College campus.This is the prime minister’s first full-fledged official tour to the state since the BJP became a part of the ruling coalition in Bihar in July this year after Kumar-led JD(U) snapped its alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD and the Congress.In August, Modi along with Kumar had made an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts of Bihar.The prime minister had promised a “package” of Rs 1.25 lakh crore in 2015 for the state during the campaign for the assembly elections in which the BJP and the JD(U) were pitted against each other.The two parties remained partners in Bihar for 17 years but the JD(U) severed ties in mid-2013 over elevation of Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

Gujarat: Self-styled godman Acharya Shantisagar Maharaj held on charges of raping 19-year-old

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A self-styled godman was arrested from the Gujarat city of Surat on Saturday evening on charges of rape.According to news agency ANI, Acharya Shantisagar Maharaj was arrested after a 19-year-woman filed a complaint on October 1, accusing him of rape.Maharaj’s arrest comes after several self-styled babas were arrested in the past few months, starting from Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted of raping one of his disciples. He also has murder charges levied against him.On September 27, self-styled baba Siya Ram Das of Udaseen Akhara in Uttar Pradesh was arrested on charges of rape, while a famous godman from Rajasthan, ‘Falahari Baba’, was arrested a few days earlier for similar charges.

In Uttar Pradesh, gangrape survivor ends life after Baghpat police fails to take action despite Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s orders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 16-year-old gangrape survivor ended her life over alleged police inaction in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat on Saturday.What’s shocking is the fact that the local police failed to initiate any inquiry in the case despite strict orders from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.The incident took place in July, when five accused abducted the minor and gangraped her at a secluded spot. After holding her in captivity and repeatedly raping her for five days, the accused threw her back in her Kirthal village under Ramala Police Station.The parents of the girl filed an FIR against the five accused. After her medical test, a case under Sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the accused.Soon, the inquiry was handed over to the Sub-Inspector Ajai Kumar but he did not initiate any action against accused who continued to roam freely issuing open threats to the girl and her parents.After failing to get justice at local level, the gangrape survivor and her parents met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the Janata Darbar in Lucknow about two months ago. On her complaint, the CM Yogi had directed the Baghpat police to arrest the accused immediately.Despite Yogi Adityanath’s directions, the Baghpat police allegedly closed the gangrape case file with a final report.“My family is living under constant threat from the influential accused who seems to have bought over the local police,” victim’s father Gopal Sharma had told local media about two month ago.On Friday, when the victim had gone out to the market, the accused physically assaulted her and threatened to withdraw the case or they would gangrape her again and kill family.Unable to bear the humiliation, the victim rushed back home and told her parents about how she was threatened again by her rapists. She shut herself in her room and hanged herself from the ceiling fan.Since Friday night, the parents had not allowed the police to take away the body for post-mortem and held dharna at their home. They agreed for cremation on Saturday afternoon when the Circle Officer Anand Kumar Pandey assured to arrest all the five accused within 24 hours.After the suicide of the teenager, Baghpat SSP Jai Kumar has ordered an inquiry into the case.“I am surprised over the final report. I have already issued instructions for immediate arrest of all five accused and initiate strict action against erring police officers,” said the SSP.Earlier, in a similar case, another gangrape survivor in Meerut had committed suicide when she failed to get justice from the police.

Unlike past regimes we don’t announce schemes during election time and then forget: PM Modi in Mokama

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government ensures the schemes launched by it are implemented within a time limit, unlike in the past when projects were announced “during election time” and forgotten later.Modi deplored “the thinking of many political leaders” that projects like roads were not meant for the poor. “We can not imagine the extent to which this mindset has damaged the country.”The prime minister was addressing a gathering after launching development projects relating to highways and sewage treatment in Mokama, about 100 km from Bihar capital Patna.Bihar Governor Satyapal Malik, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Ram Vilas Paswan were among those present at the programme.Modi began his nearly 30-minute speech in Magahi dialect and praised the people of Mokama. He recalled the city’s connection with the mythological warrior sage Parashuram.He also recalled the contributions of poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar and Bihar’s first Chief Minister Shri Krishna Singh, pointing that both of them hailed from Begusarai “just across the Ganges”.Underscoring his government’s commitment to boost inland water transport, Modi said during the British era, “when we had excellent waterways, Mokama was known as ‘mini Kolkata’.We must revive the lost glory”.”My government is working tirelessly to provide better road, rail and internet connectivity and power connections and potable water to all. We have launched many schemes with these specific targets in mind,” he said.The prime minister said his government “launches schemes keeping a roadmap ready” and “ensures implementation within time limit”, unlike past regimes, “which were in the habit of announcing projects during election time, only to forget about these later”.Extending his greetings for Diwali on October 19, and Chhath – Bihar’s most celebrated festival which falls six days later, Modi said “once the Ganges is cleansed of pollutants, for which we have launched a special project called ‘Namami Gange’, it would be a real delight to observe the austerities of Chhath”.Modi lauded Gadkari, who holds the surface and transport ministry, for expanding India’s road network. He also had a word of praise for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar “for his cooperation and his concern for the initiatives taken by the Centre”.Kumar urged Modi to undertake key projects like a bridge parallel to the ‘Vikramshila Setu’ over the Ganges in Bhagalpur and a direct road connecting Buxar with Varanasi, which is the prime minister’s parliamentary constituency.He also recalled his connection with Mokama, which forms a part of the Barh Lok Sabha seat, which he has represented a number of times in the parliament.This was Modi’s first Bihar visit since the BJP return to the coalition with the JD(U) in Bihar in July this year.Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, a BJP leader, said this was the “first time in 27 years when the same dispensation rules both at the Centre and in Bihar.” “To use an expression of the prime minister, Bihar now has two engines to propel it on the path towards progress,” Sushil Modi said.Earlier in the day, the prime minister attended a function held to celebrate 100 years of establishment of Patna University followed by a brief, unscheduled visit to the newly-opened Bihar Museum.

DNA Evening Reads | Gauri Lankesh’ killers identified; PM Modi in Bihar; Pulwama encounter and Burhan Wani and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Gauri Lankesh murder case: Two suspects identified, SIT releases sketchesThe police said that there are two suspects and sketches were similar because they were made by two artists based on different eyewitness accounts. Read more here2. PM Modi says Nitish Kumar committed to Bihar, praises Patna University studentsPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday shared the stage with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the first time after the the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold. Read more here3. ‘A big success’: LeT commander Waseem Shah killed in Pulwama encounterTop Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday morning. Read more here4. Remember Burhan Wani’s viral group photo? 2 years on, security forces have neutralised all but oneFor Wani and Shah were part of the group photo that went viral in 2015. The photo of 11 young terrorists in army fatigue not only rattled the security forces but also became hugely popular among the youth of Kashmir. Read more here5. Who said BJP is anti-women? EAM Sushma Swaraj cites cabinet members to counter detractatorsExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday lashed out at BJP’s rivals’ claims that the party was anti-women. Read more here

Nitish Kumar takes a swipe at Congress after spotting state party chief at PM’s speech; Congress calls it a joke

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today took a swipe at the Congress, after he saw former state party chief Ashok Choudhary at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s programme at Patna University.”You have come to the programme in which the prime minister is on dais. This could lead to the party showing you the doors,” Kumar said in his speech at the centenary celebration function at Patna University.Choudhary was present at the function, along with his party colleagues and MLCs Dilip Kumar Chaudhary, Tanvir Akhtar and Ramchandra Bharti.The Congress MLCs were inclined to the Kumar-led JD(U) after the disintegration of the grand alliance of the RJD-JD (U)-Congress in the state.Choudhary who was education minister in the grand alliance government, described Kumar’s comment as “just a joke by the chief minister”.Choudhary said he was an alumnus of Patna University and had come to attend its centenary celebration.He, however, expressed “disappointment” over the prime minister not announcing central university status for Patna University which was demanded by the chief minister.”I feel disappointed. The CM had made the demand for according central university status to Patna University, but it did not materialise,” Choudhary said.Interim Bihar Congress President Kaukab Kadri also refused to see politics in it.”It reflected his (Kumar) personal relationship with him and no politics should be seen into it,” Kadri told PTI.Choudhary and Kadri factions are locked in intense fight within the state Congress after the former was axed as state party chief by party president Sonia Gandhi.Kadri replaced him as interim state chief till a regular state president is named

Remember Burhan Wani’s viral group photo? 2 years on, security forces have neutralised all but one

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On July 8, 2016, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the 21-year-old ‘poster boy’ of new wave of Kashmir militancy was gunned in Anantnag’s Kokernag area.More than a year later, top Laskar-e-Taiba commander Waseem Shah was killed in Pulwama on Saturday.Between the encounters of Wani and Shah lies the success of Indian armed forces.For Wani and Shah were part of the group photo that went viral in 2015. The photo of 11 young terrorists in army fatigue not only rattled the security forces but also became hugely popular among the youth of Kashmir.Seen as a propaganda attempt, Burhan Wani and his terror gang not only impressed the young minds but swayed the mood in the Valley in their favour.But the Anantnag encounter changed the narrative and thus began the story that led security forces to neutralise one terrorist after another.Despite the clashes and tension following Burhan Wani killing, the security forces were successful in making the impact.But the 2015 photo may have helped the security forces. Before Burhan Wani, Adil Ahmad Khanday, Afaaqullah Bhat and Waseem Malla were killed in 2015 itself. Another major blow that year was surrender of Tariq Ahmad Pandit. In 2016, Burhan Wani was killed in Anantnag. Others who were eliminated include Ishfaq Hameed and Naseer Ahmad Pandit.This year, the biggest success was encounter of Sabzar Ahmad Bhat. Today’s encounter in Pulwama killed Waseem Shah, who had switched sides from Hizbul to Lashkar. Local information also suggests that Anees has also been killed.The only surviving member of the original Burhan Wani gang is Saddam Paddar.Apart from these, other major successes this year include Lashkar chief Abu Dujana, Jaish-e-Mohammed’s operational chief Abu Khalid among others.But the biggest headache of the security agencies remains Zakir Musa, chief of Al Qaeda-linked New Jihadist group ‘Ansar Ghazwat-Ul-Hind. The former top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen has not only distanced himself from the pro-Pakistan group, but is also seen and heard talking about establishing Sharia rule in Kashmir.

Blast from the Past: When Pranab Mukherjee asked Pak FM to leave India immediately

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his new book, former President Pranab Mukherjee reveals that he asked Pakistan’s FM Shah Mehmood to return to his country immediately in the wake of the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008. Mukherjee, who was EAM in 2008, pulled erstwhile Pak FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi from a press conference and asked him to leave India.Mukherjee reveals in his new book The Coalition Years: 1996-2012 that he called a journalist at Qureshi’s press conference and when he got his Pak counterpart on the phone, he told him to leave Mumbai ASAP.He said: “Mr Minister, no purpose will be served by your continuing to stay in India in these circumstances. My official aircraft is available to take you back home. It would be desirable if a decision is taken as quickly as possible.”Pranab better suited to be PM: Manmohan Singh
ALSO READ Pranab Mukherjee was more suited to be PM: Manmohan SinghFormer prime minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said that his former colleague Pranab Mukherjee was better qualified than him for the top post and has full rights to get upset.Manmohan was the chief guest at the launch of former President Pranab Mukherjee’s new book ‘The Coalition Years: 1996-2012’.
ALSO READ Pranab Mukherjee had every right to feel grievance, was better qualified to be PM: Manmohan SinghWhile addressing the crowd, Manmohan Singh said, ‘In 2004, Sonia ji chose me to be the Prime Minister. Pranab ji was the most distinguished colleague that I had. I became a politician by accident when PV Narasimha Rao invited me to become Finance Minister. Pranab Mukherjee is a politician by choice and he is one of the greatest politicians living in our country’.‘Pranab Mukherjee had every reason to feel a grievance that he was better qualified than I was to be PM but he also knew I had no choice in matter. Therefore that smoothened our relationship. We ran the government as cohesive team of which Pranab Mukherjee was the most imp member,’ Manmohan added.Pranab Mukherjee and Manmohan Singh had worked together in various capacities since 1970.Pranab Mukherjee was widely expected to be the Congress choice for the Prime Minister’s post, after Sonia Gandhi declined to lead the government in 2004.This is the first time Manmohan Singh has expressed his views in public and acknowledged the disappointment that Pranab Mukherjee must have felt. With inputs from agencies

Accepted Jaya’s thumb imprint on 3 nomination papers: EC to Madras High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission of India on Friday told Madras High Court that it had accepted the nomination papers of three AIADMK candidates in the assembly bypoll last year, affixed with the then Chief Minister and party chief J Jayalalithaa’s thumb impression as it was endorsed by party presidium chairman E Madhusoodanan’s letter.The commission’s senior principal secretary K F Wilfred, who appeared in person before the high court, said the commission accepted the nomination papers affixed with Jayalalithaa’s thumb impression since it was validated by the party presidium chairman. However, he said the letter did not contain documents or details explaining the health condition of Jayalalithaa.The court has directed government doctor Dr P Balaji, who attested the thumb impression of Jayalalithaa, to appear on October 27.Wilfred was asked to give evidence in a case related to affixture of Jayalalithaa’s thumb impression on documents related to Tirupparankundram Assembly bypoll held in November last year. P Saravanan, DMK candidate for Tirupparangundram assembly constituency, challenged the election of AIADMK candidate A K Bose, alleging that Jayalalithaa was not conscious to either sign or affix a thumb impression on the poll papers in her capacity as the general secretary of the party.

Arvind Kejriwal writes to LG after WagonR theft

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Delhi Chief Minister’s car was stolen from outside the secretariat, he wrote to the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal taking a dig at the Delhi’s law and order situation. Arvind Kejriwal also said in his letter that a common man does not feel safe in the Capital.Kejriwal, in his letter said, “Yesterday, my WagonR was stolen from outside Central Secretariat. My car getting stolen is a small thing. But a chief minister’s car getting stolen right in front of the Central Secretariat points towards the state of law and order within the Capital and dereliction of duties. In the light of the recent incident, what value does the life of a common really hold.”He added, “If you ask any commoner residing in Delhi about the security and safety, you will get a negative response. I know upon receiving my letter, the Delhi Police will respond with facts and figures that would help their so-called case but the truth is evident for all of us to see.”Meanwhile, the Delhi Police have formed various teams to recover the stolen vehicle. Help of technical surveillance is being taken and based on local intelligence, efforts to trace the CM’s car are being made, police said.Police have also accessed the CCTV footage of the spot from where the car was stolen and are trying to identify the accused involved. Many second hand car dealers, deserted parking lots and car scrappers place have been raided in search of the vehicle.According to police data, in Delhi, more than 100 vehicles are reported stolen every day on average. In the past five years, the number of stolen vehicles have risen more than threefold.While in 2012 a total of 14,391 motor vehicles were reported stolen, the number in 2016 was 38,644. This year, till April 12,666 vehicles which zeroes down to 105 vehicles a day, on average, were reported missing.

Release EDMC workers’ funds within 3 days: Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Delhi government to release the arrears of the sanitation workers of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) within three days. The workers, who have called for an indefinite strike, have been on strike since October 11.The directions were passed by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar while hearing a plea, which sought directions to the EDMC and the Delhi Government to make immediate payment of arrears.The workers, who have been demanding the salaries due to them, clearance of arrears and medical cashless cards, knocked on the court’s door seeking direction to ensure that the workers end their strike and resume work.The bench also sought a status report from the concerned authorities even though it did not give any specific direction on the matter.Appearing for the petitioner, his counsel informed the court that despite assurances, outstanding payment of the workers had not been made since 2003 thereby prompting the court to pass the directions for the release of the arrears.The counsel also requested the court to direct the EDMC to issue cashless medical cards to its sanitation workers.The plea highlighted the strike held by all the three MCDs in January 2015, October 2015 and January 2016 which resulted in unsanitary conditions and outbreak of disease. The strike also led to the piling up of garbage causing inconvenience to people.DOMINO EFFECTThe plea highlighted the strike held by all 3 MCDs in Jan 2015, Oct 2015 and Jan 2016 which resulted in unsanitary conditions and outbreak of disease.
It also led to the piling up of garbage causing inconvenience to people

Himachal Assembly Elections 2017: BJP meet likely to pick poll candidates on Saturday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP Central Election Committee is likely to meet here on Saturday to finalise the party’s nominees for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly election, scheduled to be held on November 9.Top party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its president Amit Shah, are among the members of the committee.The BJP is seeking to capture power in the hill state, which it had lost to the Congress in the 2007 Assembly polls.Himachal, which has a 68-member Assembly, has a history of throwing the incumbent party out of power.It remains to be seen if the saffron party announces its chief ministerial face in the run-up to the Himachal polls.The Congress has announced Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as its choice for the top post in the state again.Two-time Himachal chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Union minister J P Nadda are being seen as the two most likely choices of the saffron party for the top post with the latter being considered a favourite because of his clean image and proximity to the party’s central leadership.

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