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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.

State government trying to institutionalise corruption: Sachin Pilot in response to Raj govt’s ordinance

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Sachin Pilot, who is also the Rajasthan party chief, on Saturday criticised Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s decision to replace The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance with a Bill. “Absolutely shocked by how the state government is trying to institutionalise corruption. The state government is trying to safeguard the interest of people through whom they conduct corruption scandals in Rajasthan,” he was quoted while speaking to ANIEarlier, the chief minister issued an ordinance that will prevent cases being lodged against officers and judges for any act commited by them while they were in service. The ordinance also prevents courts from issuing directions to register cases against them. Further the ordinance prevents that the names or pictures of the persons to be made public.The Ordinance was implemented on September 7 and is likely to come up for discussion in the coming assembly session to take the form of a Bill. The ordinance titled Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 is an Amendment in the section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and provides that “no magistrate shall order an investigation against a person who is or was a judge or magistrate or a public servant, as defined under any other law for the time being in force, in respect to the act done by them while purporting or act in the discharge of their official duties, except with previous sanction under the section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act No 2 of 1974) or under any other law for the time being in force”

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.

PM Modi to visit poll-bound Gujarat tomorrow for the third time this month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit poll-bound Gujarat tomorrow for the third time this month, where he will inaugurate and lay foundation stones for a number of projects in Bhavnagar and Vadodara districts.Modi will inaugurate the first phase of the Rs 615-crore ‘roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro)’ ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar district and Dahej in Bharuch in the Gulf of Cambay.The prime minister had called the ferry service, which will reduce the distance between the two towns from 310 kilometres by road to 30 kilometres, his “dream project” while addressing a gathering at Gandhinagar on Monday.He will address a gathering in Ghogha and undertake a journey to Dahej from Ghogha on the ferry. From Dahej, he will leave for Vadodara, where he is scheduled to inaugurate and lay the foundation stones for projects worth over Rs 1,140 crore.Ajay Bhadoo, Chief Executive Officer of Gujarat Maritime Board which is executing the ro-ro project, said the first phase of the service to be inaugurated by Modi on Sunday is meant for passengers.In the second phase, which would be ready in two months, cars can also be carried between the two towns.”It is a complex project which involves complicated marine structure of the Gulf of Cambay, on which it is built.The service reduces the distance between the two towns from 310 kilometres by road to 30 kilometres which can be covered in one hour,” Bhadoo said.Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project in January 2012, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.In Vadodara, Modi will inaugurate eight different projects worth Rs 1,140 crore.Vadodara Municipal Commissioner Vinod Rao said Modi will dedicate to people a Rs 100-crore city command and control centre in Badamadi Garden, Rs 125-crore Janmahal city transport hub and multi-level parking (under PPP), a Rs 160 crore multi-modal city transport hub, Rs 267 crore waste-to- energy processing plant.The other projects are a Rs 166-crore water treatment plant, two flyovers collectively worth Rs 265 crore, a Rs 55- crore deer safari park, and a Rs 6-crore veterinary hospital.He will also address people at Navlakhi compound in Vadodara.Modi had last visited Vadodara, a constituency from where he contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election and won by a record margin, on October 22 last year to inaugurate a new airport terminal building and distribute assistance devices to the divyang (specially-abled) people. He had also won from Varanasi seat in Uttar Pradesh which he retained.The prime minister had visited Gujarat on Monday, when he addressed the BJP workers at a rally in Gandhinagar.Prior to that, Modi had visited his home town Vadnagar on October 8 and also inaugurated and laid foundation stones of various projects in Rajkot, Vadnagar, Gandhinagar, and Bharuch.Last month, he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here and launched the bullet train project. Modi had also dedicated to the nation the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada at an event coinciding with his 67th birthday.

Don’t invite me for Tipu Jayanti celebrations: Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Skill Development Ananth Kumar Hegde on Saturday wrote a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s secretary and District Collector of Uttara Kannada district asking them not include his name in Tipu Jayanti celebration that will held on November 10.Reacting to Hegde’s letter, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said, “As part of the govt, he shouldn’t have written it. Invitations for Tipu Jayanti celebration will be sent out to all Central and state leaders, it’s up to them to accept or reject.”After witnessing major clash in 2015 in state over the celebrations of Tipu Sultan Jayanti, the Karnataka Government last year decided to make the event an annual affair.The decision was taken by the government, based on inputs and detailed discussions held with historians and academicians. The event will be organised at the Ravindra Kalakshetra.The Congress government views Tipu Sultan as a patriot, who fought against the British. However, the BJP and the RSS views are completely different from those of the state government, who regard Tipu Sultan as a tyrant monarch and for his biasness against Hindus.Three people lost their lives in clashes in Kodagu in 2015 after outrage by anti-Tipu Sultan activists calling him a tyrant. Other reactions included BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje, who accused the government of vote-bank politics.

MHA tightens guidelines amid cyber threats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The increased threats of cyber attacks targeting confidential government information has prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to prepare guidelines on securing government data.The National Information Security Policy and Guidelines, prepared by MHA, have been sent to the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), which is an apex body on security policies headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval as its secretary.The proposed policy looks at strengthening the mechanism to safeguard critical data by roping in experts and the use of better technology.The guidelines deal with combating cyber attacks affecting organisations in sectors such as defence, energy, finance, space, telecommunications, transport, public essential services and utilities, law enforcement and security, which, if compromised, will lead to a national crisis. A national nodal agency to deal with cyber security and developing indigenous technology has been proposed.According to a study, India is ranked the fifth most vulnerable country when it comes to cyber attacks but cases of data breach remain under-reported with the legal mechanism being limited to deal with such situations.”Almost every developed country is indulging in cyber espionage. There is a need to enhance our system to secure critical information. The policy is being vetted by the NSA,” said a senior government official.

Lalu Prasad Yadav to be chief guest at Congress programme on Saturday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD chief Lalu Prasad is scheduled to be the chief guest at a Congress programme on Saturday to celebrate the birth anniversary of first Bihar chief minister Sri Krishna Singh, making the future political move of the Grand Alliance partners clear after the JD(U) broke away.Sri Krishna Singh, also called Sri Babu, a freedom fighter, had served as the first chief minister of the state from 1946 to 1961. The birth anniversary programme of Sri Babu tomorrow is slated to be a major joint show by the Congress and the RJD. It makes the future plan of Sonia Gandhi’s party in Bihar clear after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) quit the Grand Alliance in July and aligned with the NDA.”RJD president Lalu Prasad is the chief guest at the birth anniversary function of Sri Krishna Singh at the Samrat Ashok Convention Centre here tomorrow,” interim president of Bihar Congress Kaukab Kadri told PTI today. Replying to a question, he said, “We have a natural tie- up with Laluji, who is a tall leader of the secular forces.” Former Union minister Akhilesh Singh, who has switched over to the Congress from the RJD and is a frontrunner for the post of Bihar Congress chief, is scheduled to be the chairman at tomorrow’s programme.Singh, who served as a Union minister of state in the UPA-I government, said he had been organising Sri Babu’s birth anniversary programmes every year since 2000, when he was a minister in the Rabri Devi government in Bihar, and added that leaders of other political parties were always invited to these events. RJD state spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari said no programme was scheduled for Sri Babu’s birth anniversary at the party office tomorrow and added that all the party workers would attend the event where Lalu Prasad was scheduled to be the chief guest.Hoardings of the event with photographs of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Lalu Prasad have been put up in the city. L P Sahi (98), veteran freedom fighter and an associate of Sri Babu, Congress general secretary and in-charge of Bihar affairs C P Joshi, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, senior Congress leader Shakil Ahmad Khan are scheduled to attend the event, along with a host of state Congress leaders.Kadri and Singh said all Congress legislators, including former state party chief Ashok Choudhary, had been invited to take part in tomorrow’s event. Choudhary, however, denied receiving any invitation. “I have neither received any invitation nor did anybody telephone me in this regard,” Choudhary, an MLC, told PTI. His colleague in the state legislative council, Dilip Kumar Chaudhary, too said he had not received any invitation for tomorrow’s event.The two, along with Tanvir Akhtar and Ramchandra Bharti, of the six Congress MLCs in the state, are moving together and are believed to be inclined towards joining hands with Nitish Kumar.The four MLCs were present at the centenary celebrations of the Patna University on October 14, which were attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On the occasion, Kumar had taken a swipe at Choudhary by wondering whether his presence at the event would cost him his party membership. The Grand Alliance broke up when Kumar resigned over a graft charge against the then deputy chief minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav and later joined hands with the BJP to form a new NDA government in the state.After the disintegration of the Grand Alliance, the state Congress, which has 27 MLAs and six MLCs, has become a divided house with one section headed by Choudhary inclined towards Kumar, while another faction led by Kadri and Singh tilted towards Lalu Prasad.

It is Cong’s ‘save Rahul campaign’: BJP hits out at Chidambaram’s EC criticism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP said today that Congress leader P Chidambaram’s criticism of the Election Commission for not announcing Gujarat poll dates was part of the party’s ‘save Rahul’ campaign as it fears that a defeat in the election will stall his elevation to the post of party chief.BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao defended the Election Commission’s decision of not announcing the Gujarat poll dates with that of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly election, saying the Model Code of Conduct is expected to be in force for not more than 45 days and the election in the western state was expected in December. Rao’s attack on the Congress came after Chidambaram took a swipe at the Election Commission (EC), saying it has authorised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce the date of Gujarat elections at his last rally.”Chidambaram seems to view the EC from his jaundiced eyes. Sonia Gandhi, as an extra-constitutional authority, had subverted institutions and remote-controlled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. PM Modi is a quintessential democrat and does not interfere in the functioning of any institutions,” Rao said. The Congress’ repeated attempts in raising questions about the EC is a desperate excuse and an alibi to shield Rahul Gandhi from the impact of an impending massive defeat in Gujarat, he alleged.
ALSO READ Chidambaram slams Election Commission for not announcing Gujarat poll schedule”This is part of the ‘save Rahul’ campaign as his cronies fear that Gujarat defeat will stall his never-happening, elusive elevation as the party president,” Rao said. Accusing the Congress of “rank opportunism” and “hypocrisy”, he said the same EC appeared neutral to the Congress when its decision favoured its senior leader Ahmed Patel’s election to the Rajya Sabha. The Election Commission, he said, needs to be complimented for not repeating the aberration in Gujarat election in 2012 when the duration of the code of conduct was an unusually and unreasonably high period of 83 days, he said.”Whether that was a motivated decision, given the adversarial relationship between the then UPA and Gujarat government is a moot question,” he said. In a series of tweets dripping with sarcasm, Chidambaram, the former finance and home minister, also claimed that the Election Commission will be “recalled” from its “extended holiday” after the Gujarat government has announced all “concessions and freebies”.

Watch: Lawmaker breaks law, Jharkhand CM drives scooter sans a helmet on Diwali night

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Diwali decided to drive his scooter in an effort to meet the people of the area. But, he chose not to wear the mandatory helmet. If that was not enough, he decided not to go with his security cover which could have easily resulted in any untoward incident. A video clip which is being aired on local news channels shows the chief minister driving a two-wheeler without wearing a helmet. He has invited opposition flak for his actions. Raghubar Das celebrated Diwali at his home in Jamshedpur, which is also his assembly constituency. Raghubar Das along with a few people drove on his scooter for around two kilometers and visited the homes of people.According to reports, chief Minister at a programme last year appealed to the people to move on bikes only after wearing the helmet. But now, he has been spotted breaking the same rule.

People consider ‘beautiful cemetery’ Taj Mahal ‘asubh’, hence don’t keep replicas at home: Anil Vij

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It seems like BJP leaders can’t stop commenting about Taj Mahal, despite the best efforts from the party high command to put a lid to the controversy. Haryana Minister and senior BJP leader Anil Vij is the latest to join the bandwagon of leaders making controversial comments about one of world’s most famous monuments.First he tweeted:Later, he elaborated on his comment while speaking to ANI, It loosely translates to, “Taj Mahal is a beautiful cemetery. This is the reason it is deemed as bad omen, and people don’t keep replica of Taj in their houses.”Well shopkeepers across the world, selling replica of Taj Mahal in various sizes may disagree with Anil Vij’s rather sweeping statement. However, this is not the first time Anil Vij has made an off-the-cuff statement. In the past, he has said that PM Modi is a bigger brand than Mahatma Gandhi, true Hindus could never be a terrorist and people who want beef should leave Haryana. He even called the media ‘stinking dogs’ once, when they raised questions about his entourage’s trip to Rio during the Olympics. His tweet on Taj Mahal came in the backdrop of Sangeet Som, BJP legislator from Sardhana, Uttar Pradesh, questioning the monument’s place in India’s heritage. Downplaying the controversy over Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said the monument was created by the blood and sweat of “Bharat Mata’s sons” and its protection was the responsibility of his government However, another senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar had claimed that the Taj Mahal was a Lord Shiva temple called ‘Tejo Mahal’ which was converted into a mausoleum by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.With agency inputs

Congress wants Rahul to personalize his twitter handle

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leaders closely working with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi want him to personalize his twitter handle from Office of Rahul Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi. DNA spoke to people working closely with Rahul Gandhi who confirmed that he has been requested to change the handle name. The clamour for him to personalize the handle has gone up as he is all set to be elevated as the President of the Congress Party by October end. His arch rival Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a personal twitter handle and his tweets carry an element of intimacy.Sources in the Congress also said that Rahul Gandhi was given similar suggestion by a senior leader to change his twitter handle but he did not positively respond to the idea.Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party have been late arrivals on the social media which BJP used to its great advantage during 2014 Lok Sabha elections.Sources say that Rahul’s twitter handle, the Office of Rahul Gandhi today almost functions like his personal handle so the change makes all the sense.Despite recent success tasted by Rahul Gandhi on social media, there is a perceptible difference between his and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s account. Rahul Gandhi has got 3.81 million followers whereas Narendra Modi has 35.6 million followers.The difference between the yesteryears and today is that engagement rate of Rahul Gandhi’s twitter account has risen substantially.Current social media platforms of the Congress are being managed by Divya Spandana former member of Lok Sabha from Mandya district of Karnataka. She has largely been responsible for turning around the moribund social media department of the Congress Party into a vibrant unit.

Nation to pay homage to policemen killed in 1959 Chinese firing: Home Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The nation will pay homage to the policemen martyred in firing by Chinese troops in 1959 and 34,400 others who laid down their lives protecting India’s unity, at a special function tomorrow, the home ministry said today.Home Minister Rajnath Singh will lead the nation to pay homage to 10 policemen besides 34,408 other police personnel, who have sacrificed their lives since independence to safeguard the unity and integrity of the nation.Observed as ‘Police Commemoration Day’, October 21 commemorates the sacrifices of the 10 policemen while defending India’s borders with China in 1959, a statement by the ministry said.The Indian police personnel were responsible for manning the 2,500 mile long border of India with Tibet until the autumn of 1959.On October 20, 1959, three reconnaissance parties were launched from Hot Springs in North Eastern Ladakh in preparation for further movement of an Indian expedition which was on its way to Lanak La. While members of two parties returned to Hot Springs, the third one comprising two police constables and a porter did not return, the statement said.The remaining forces were mobilised next morning in search of the missing personnel. A party of about 20 police personnel led by Karam Singh, a Deputy Central Intelligence Officer (DCIO) rank officer, proceeded on horseback while others followed on foot in three sections.At mid-day, the Chinese Army personnel were seen on a hillock who opened fire and threw grenades at the Indian party, the statement said.Since there was no cover, most personnel were injured.Ten of the brave police personnel attained martyrdom and seven others sustained injuries in the incident.Bodies of the 10 personnel were returned by the Chinese on November 13, 1959, three weeks after the incident. The bodies were then cremated with full police honours at Hot Springs in Ladakh, it said.The annual conference of Inspectors General of Police of States and Union Territories held in January 1960 decided that October 21 would, henceforth, be observed as ‘Commemoration Day’ in all police lines in the country to mark the memory of these gallant personnel, the statement said.It was also decided to erect a memorial at Hot Springs, and that members of police forces from different parts of the country trek to Hot Springs every year to pay homage to the gallant martyrs.Since independence, 34,418 police personnel have sacrificed their lives for safeguarding the integrity of the nation and providing security to people of this country, the statement said.During the last one year i.e. from September 2016 to August 2017, 383 police personnel have laid down their lives.

Bihar: 1 killed, 6 injured in violent protests over killing of medical supplier

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Violent protests have hit Samastipur in Bihar leading to the death of one man in the police firing. According to reports, on Friday, police fired shots into the air after a protest in Samastipr turned violent which claimed the life of one protestor and injuring six others. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered an inquiry into the incident that took place at Asadhi village under the Tajpur police station.Enraged mob pelted stones at the police station and ransacked vehicles thereafter, say media reports. Some media reports claim that at least 20 vehicles were set ablaze by the angry crowd that ended up targeting senior police officers. This comes in the wake of a medical supplier being shot dead two days back and a minor girl being abducted by unidentified assailants on Thursday. The National Highway was also blocked by the protestors. The police said violence broke out during a demonstration by villagers at an highway, reports PTI. They were protesting against the killing of a chemist by unidentified assailants two days ago, Samastipur Superintendent of Police (SP) Deepak Ranjan said.They torched as many as eight police vehicles and also tried to set fire to the police station and attack the vehicle of a deputy superintendent, he said.The police personnel “had to resort to firing in the air” after they could not disperse the crowd with batons, the SP said.”In the melee, some police personnel perhaps could not aim their guns properly in the air and as a result of which two of the demonstrators suffered bullet injuries,” Ranjan said.One of them died on the spot and the other was taken to a hospital. Three policemen and an administrative official were also injured, he said.The chief minister has called the incident “sad” and directed Tirhut divisional commissioner and the deputy inspector general of police (Tirhut Range) to visit the site and submit a report, an official release said here.The situation was tense but brought under control and a large number of police personnel have been deployed in the area, the SP said.(With PTI inputs)

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar resigns from post citing ‘personal reasons’

Updated: Oct 20, 2017, 02:22 PM IST, ANI

Ranjit Kumar was appointed as Solicitor General, the country’s second highest law officer, in June 2014 after the Modi government came to power. His second term as solicitor general was renewed recently. The office of Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad received his resignation letter on Friday. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar resigned from his post on Friday. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed this to ANI.As per reports, Kumar resigned due to some personal reasons.Kumar’s resignation comes months after Mukul Rohatgi resigned from the post of Attorney General of India.Kumar was appointed as the Solicitor General of India in June 2014. He had replaced senior advocate Mohan Parasaran.Before taking over as Solicitor General, Kumar served as counsel for the Gujarat government as well as amicus curiae in several cases in the Supreme Court.

Chidambaram slams Election Commission for not announcing Gujarat poll schedule

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday criticised the Election Commission saying that by not announcing the Gujarat poll schedule, it has “authorised” Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the dates at his last rally, after all “freebies” for the state were doled out.The former finance and home minister also claimed the Election Commission will be “recalled” from its “extended holiday” after the Gujarat government has announced all “concessions and freebies”.”EC has authorised PM to announce date of Gujarat elections at his last rally (and kindly keep EC informed),” he tweeted.The EC had just said the polling in the western state would be held before December 18.The Congress had alleged that the government put “pressure” on the poll panel to “delay” the announcement of Gujarat assembly poll schedule to enable the prime minister to act as a “false santa claus” and offer sops, use “jumlas” (rhetoric) during his October 16 visit to his home state.The model code of conduct would have come into immediate effect in Gujarat had the poll schedule been announced along with Himachal Pradesh, the party had said.Hitting back at the Congress for targeting the EC, BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said allegations levelled against the constitutional body were without any basis.”It is absolutely absurd. It’s like questioning the prudence of the EC. The Congress is perhaps speaking out of its own experience where interference in the functioning of constitutional bodies used to be a thing in their rule. Such is not the case since 2014,” he had said.”Let me also add, this tells that they are jittery about BJP s prospects in the state,” Prasad had said.

Several women SHGs worked for loan waiver

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra announced and implemented biggest ever loan waiver package for over 57 lakh farmers in the state, it is not only government machinery which has worked day and night for the same. Several women’s SHGs had also chipped in. One such group was present in Mumbai on Wednesday when Fadnavis distributed certificates of eligibility for loan waiver to a few farmers. Dipali Vasant Kulthe, secretary of Strishakti women’s self-help group from Nashik informed that her group worked for filling up the online forms for the loan waiver. Kulthe informed that 38 members of her SHG were trained in computers and data entry who worked day and night for getting the loan waiver forms filled up for all the farmers from Makhamalabad in Nashik.

From sweet box to inbox: India celebrates Diwali with traditional fervour and modern outlook

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As people across the country came together to celebrate the festival of lights, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat joined the Armed Forces on the occasion.Modi visited troops posted along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez Sector and lauded the soldiers for their sacrifice saying he considers them his family.”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,” he wrote in the visitors’ book.Sitharaman celebrated the festival with military personnel at the strategically important tri-services command on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Chief Minister Vijay Rupani of the border state of Gujarat also joined BSF jawans at the border outpost near Lakhpat in Kutch district to celebrate the festival.Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya from his 14-year exile after vanquishing demon-king Ravana.Besides sweets, people also exchanged funny social media memes and GIFs on the occasion as some made calls for a ‘Digital Diwali’– mindful probably of air pollution resulting from bursting of firecrackers.District inspector of schools in Nodia PK Upadhyay said one can experience the delight of bursting firecrackers digitally on mobile phones, laptops, and large screens.Shopping malls, too, should display crackers digitally through sound and light technology, he suggested.The Supreme Court recently banned the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi and National Capital Region till October 31 to curb the pollution caused by bursting them.Many took to the social media to say the celebrations this year was “peaceful” and “lesser noisy”.In Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the festival passed off peacefully as in other states, even as incessant rains dampened the spirit to some extent in eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha. The Golden temple at Amritsar was illuminated on the occasion.The festival was celebrated with fervour across the Jammu region including the areas close to the LoC and International Border.However, a senior BSF official said the force did not exchange sweets with Pakistani troops on the occasion, a practice which was a regular feature in the past.”When there is unprovoked and indiscriminate firing from Pakistan and civilian areas are being targeted regularly, such goodwill gestures are worth nothing,” the official said.Bollywood celebrities, including legends Amitabh Bachchan, Lata Mangeshkar and Dilip Kumar, sent out their good wishes to fans around the globe.”Diwali greetings begin in huge abundance…and we work …just so all the family can breathe peacefully,” Bachchan, 75, posted on Twitter.Urging fans to light at least one diya for the Army, actor Akshay Kumar wrote, “We are, because they (the soldiers) are.”In an exemplary show of empathy towards winged creatures, several villages in Tamil Nadu celebrated Diwali without bursting crackers to avoid scaring birds and bats in their areas.For a long time, people of Koothankulam village in Tirunelveli district, which has a bird sanctuary, have avoided bursting firecrackers during the festival.Also, the people of Vadamugam, Vellode and six other villages near the Vellode birds sanctuary in Erode celebrated the festival yesterday sans firecrackers to support birds for the 18th year in a row.

PM Modi celebrates Diwali with soldiers in J&K’s Gurez, calls them his ‘family’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday celebrated Diwali in the Gurez valley along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir with the troops posted in the forward area.The Prime Minister spent nearly two hours with the troops and offered sweets and exchanged greetings with them. Addressing jawans, the PM said he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family. Therefore, he had come among jawans, whom he considers his family.The PM also said that jawans who leave Armed Forces after completing their duty tenure, can become excellent yoga trainers subsequently.”If we all take a resolution and work on it, then 125 crore Indians will bring India ahead by 125 crore steps by 2022, 75th year of Independence,” the PM said. Army chief General Bipin Rawat, Northern Command chief Lt General Devraj Anbu and Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu were also in Gurez accompanying the prime minister, an Army official said.Modi had spent Diwali with the people of Kashmir in 2014 in the aftermath of the devastating floods in the Valley.(With Agency Inputs)

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.

65L people affected as state transport buses go off roads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leaving holidaying Mumbaikars stranded, more than 95 percent of the total 1.07 lakh staff of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) went on strike from midnight on Monday. The Maharashtra State ST Kamagar Sanghatana (MSSKS), supported by six other labour unions, have given an indefinite strike call demanding implementation of the 7th Pay Commission, as well as a hike by 2.5 times in their salaries.The state-run corporation termed the strike illegal, claiming that they had already agreed to pay dearness allowance and Diwali bonus amounting to around Rs 20,000 per person.The situation will remain grim for lakhs of people across the state as the unions are yet to call off the strike. However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed confidence that the strike would be called off, and he would intervene if needed.A total of 18,000 MSRTC buses remained off road on Tuesday, causing hardship to around 65 lakh people, many of whom were headed to their native towns and villages.On Tuesday morning, all 250 state transport bus depots were filled with stationary buses. This in turn, increased the load on the Indian Railways.MSRTC usually operates 58,000 bus services across the state daily. On Tuesday, it could operate only 680 services. In Mumbai region – which includes Thane and Konkan — it operated just 28 services, and of those, only one in Mumbai city.The MSRTC administration had set a 5 pm deadline for the unions to resume work, which was ignored. Stressing that they stand firm on the strike decision, Sandeep Shinde, leader of MSSKS said that they were ready for negotiations, but were not invited for it by the administration.Transport minister Diwakar Raote said that the government was supportive of the pay hike demand made by the MSRTC employees. “All through the day, we asked the unions to come and resolve the issue, but they didn’t,” said Raote. “This is the doing of Congress-led unions. They didn’t even listen to the Chief Minister. There are employees who want to work but are afraid.”Meanwhile, the state government allowed private vehicles including trucks, buses, school buses and other vehicles to ferry passengers. Transport authorities roped in more than 3,500 private buses, school buses and black-and-yellow taxis for passenger service till 2 pm, but they did not prove sufficient.The Dadar-Pune Shivneri bus stand, from where a bus departs for Pune every 15 minutes, was did not have any staff or buses. Passengers complained that some private operators had hiked their fare. “I was not aware about the strike. I came to know when I reached here,” said S More, 33-year-old Pune resident. The Mumbai-Pune Taxi Owners’ Association said the demand for their taxis had grown two to three-fold.The MSRTC is expecting a loss of Rs 22 crore due to the strike; they will be refunding money to people with prior bookings.

BJP asks Cong to break silence on Robert Vadra issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP targeted Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra on Tuesday for his alleged links with absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari who fled to London in 2016.The BJP fielded Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to attack the Congress top brass asking Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to break their “silence” over media reports that claimed Robert Vadra’s links with fugitive Bhandari.Sitharaman said Gandhi’s silence would be construed as acceptance of charges against Vadra.Citing the media report, Sitharaman alleged that a London prpoerty linked to Vadra was refurbished by Bhandari, who also made arrangements for his travel abroad.She also claimed that an amount of 7.5 lakh Swiss francs was deposited in one of Bhandari’s bank accounts raising questions whether the money spent on the London house was linked to Vadra.Vadra had denied links with Bhandari when in 2016 it was reported that his London flat at 12 Ellerton House in Bryaton Square was renovated by Bhandari.Latest reports alleged that Bhandari booked two air tickets for Vadra in 2012, one of which was for travelling to Zurich, Switzerland’s financial capital.Reports also claimed that the tickets were booked by Bhandari when he was being investigated for his role in an Indian Air Force deal for basic jet trainer aircraft worth Rs 4,000 crore that Swiss company Pilatus had bagged against HAL’s bid during the UPA regime in 2012..The minister alleged that there were at least three transactions between them with “serious financial implications.”Sitharaman asked, “Why senior leadership of the Congress is keeping a studied silence.”Claiming that the Congress scion was “copying” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the union minister said, “The government is taking all steps to bring the absconding arms dealer back to India to face law,” she added.With reference to the allegations Vadra posted on Facebook, “Good Morning, I am capable, I am strong. If I believe in myself, I can turn my dreams into a plan, and my plan into my reality.”Alleged linksDef Min Sitharaman alleged that a London property linked to Vadra was refurbished by arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari She also claimed that an amount of 7.5 lakh Swiss francs was deposited in Bhandari’s bank accounts raising questions whether the money spent on the London house was linked to Vadra

After stampede, railway station to have no-hawking zones

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Getting out of a railway station in Mumbai is already a tedious task, and to make matters worse, encroachment by illegal hawkers at or near railway stations hinders smooth movement. Thus, the Maharashtra government has fixed a ‘no hawking zone’ at all railway stations, specifying a buffer of 150-metres from rail premises. This comes as a significant step to decongest stations following the stampede at Elphinstone Road station in which 23 people died.Sources said that this decision has been taken following the September 30 meeting chaired by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. “On October 8, we received a letter from the chief secretary asking us to create a ‘no hawking zone’ at stations,” said SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway. The letter has been sent to the civic bodies too.Sources said that they have started the process of demarcating the rail premises for which they will put up boards or poles. Once this is done, the BMC will begin the process of identifying 150-metres from the rail premises. “We will calculate this distance from the entry or exit points of railway stations,” said another rail official.Railway officials are also identifying stations where hawkers are seen in huge numbers. Railways and BMC will then profile these hawkers. Apart from the Railway Protection Force, ticket collectors and commercial inspectors too have been allowed to click pictures of illegal hawkers. Profiles of hawkers will be created and maintained by the RPF. These will be shared with BMC, and the two agencies are expected to ensure that steps are taken to provide designated space for hawkers.Shashank Rao, president of Mumbai Hawkers Union, said: “We will first see the demarcation made for hawking. The 150-meters as ‘no hawking zone’ is absurd, as even during elections, people aren’t allowed till 100 meters. We are planning to go on a day-long strike in November against the policies framed against hawkers by the government.”BMC is already working on a Hawkers Policy, which was first proposed in 2014. It has sent a proposal to the state government to form a Town Vending Committees (TVC), which will outline the framework of the Hawkers Policy after conducting surveys.The TVC is likely to conduct surveys to identify street vendors, issue certificates to eligible ones, recommend areas to be declared non-hawking zones, demarcate spaces for hawking and regulate timings. The hawkers will be divided into three categories — mobile, stationary and permanent ones. There are close to three lakh hawkers in Mumbai.

RSS leader’s murder in Punjab: Rajnath Singh to take up issue with CM Amarinder Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh has taken up the issue of the killing of RSS leader Ravinder Gosain with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, former Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma said on Tuesday.”Union Home Minister Singh has taken up the matter of the brutal killing of RSS leader Ravinder Gosain in Ludhiana with Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh,” said Sharma in a release here.Sharma claimed he had earlier taken up the issue with the Union Minister in Chandigarh.
ALSO READ Punjab: Killing of RSS leader is eighth murderous attack since 2016Sharma said that Rajnath Singh spoke to Capt. Amarinder Singh during his visit to the Hussainiwala Border in Ferozepur today.Rajnath Singh told the Punjab chief minister to get the matter thoroughly investigated in a speedy manner, Sharma said.Two unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants shot dead the senior Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leader in the Kailash Nagar locality here today, the police said.Gosain, 60, was returning home after attending a morning drill (RSS shakha) when he was attacked, they said. Gosain died on the spot and the attackers fled, police said.The Union Home Minister was here for inauguration of the newly constructed viewers’ gallery at the Indo-Pakistan joint check post at Hussaniwala here.Rajnath Singh and the Punjab chief minister paid floral tributes at the memorial of freedom fighters – Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev, officials said.

Tripura Assembly Election: Narendra Modi, Amit Shah to hit campaign trail in December

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah will campaign for the party, which aspires to capture power in Tripura in the assembly elections scheduled for February next year.Tripura BJP vice-president, Subal Bhowmick said Shah will arriving here by December 15 and Modi will visit the state after declaration of the poll schedule.The PM will campaign for BJP in two phases but the schedule has not been finalized yet, he said.The decision to go for an extensive campaign was taken in the state core committee meeting attended by the party’s national general secretary, Ram Madhav, central observer Sunil Deodhar and state party president Biplab Deb on Monday.BJP will start its poll campaign in the state from November one with rallies and pada yatras, he said. Bhowmick said in the 2013 assembly election in the state around 49,000 fake names of voters were included in the final electoral rolls and BJP has conveyed its concern over it to the chief electoral officer Sriram Tarunikanta. “We are careful this time to ensure error-free electoral rolls.”

Occupancy of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Hyderabad House represents victory of Hindus over Islam and Christians: Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday, Subramanian Swamy waded into the outrage over the Taj Mahal. Reacting to Sangeet Som’s statement that Taj Mahal was built by ‘traitors’, AIMIM leader Asauddin Owaisi had said: “It is very sad that a minister, who has taken oath on the Indian Constitution, has commented in such a way. I challenge this government to tell the UNESCO to remove the Taj Mahal from the world heritage list. This statement clearly shows what the priorities of this government are and that they have no relevance or respect towards the Taj Mahal.”He had said: “If whatever MLA Sangeet Som has said is true then why does Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoist a flag on the Red Fort on a place which is built by traitors? My question to the party is – Will Prime Minister Modi stop hoisting the flag after this statement? Or will he stop hosting foreign dignitaries in the Hyderabad House? In fact, Prime Minister Modi wore Rs. 25 lakh suit and served tea to former United States president Barack Obama,” he said.Reacting to the statement, Subramanian Swamy said that the occupancy of Rasthrapati Bhavan and Hyderabad House was a victory of Hindus over ‘barbaric forces of Islam and Christians’.Placing the Taj Mahal in the crosshairs of another controversy, BJP MLA Sangeet Som today questioned the 17th century architectural marvel’s place in India’s heritage and said history would be rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it.Som’s comments during a visit to Meerut district yesterday prompted an angry response from All India Majlis-e- Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi who asked if the government would tell tourists not to visit the monument.The BJP stepped into the row with party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao describing Muslim rule in India as “barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance” while asserting that its members could hold any opinion they want on specific monuments.Som, the party’s legislator from Sardhana, also distorted history to say it was built by an emperor who had imprisoned his father and targeted Hindus.In fact, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, was the one imprisoned till the end of his days by his son Aurangzeb.In comments that came soon after the Yogi Adityanath government reportedly left out the Taj Mahal from an official tourism booklet, Som said, “Many people were pained to see that the Taj Mahal was removed from the list of places (tourist destinations). What type of history? “Is this history that the person who built the Taj Mahal imprisoned his father? Do you call it history when the one who built the Taj targeted many Hindus in Uttar Pradesh and Hindustan?”The legislator went on to say that if such people are renowned in history, he “guarantees” that history will be rewritten.With inputs from PTI and ANI

Narayan Rane joins NDA, cabinet expansion soon: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday announced that former Congress leader, Narayan Rane has joined National Democratic Alliance (NDA).He also said that the party will also expand the cabinet soon. “We’ll have a cabinet expansion soon. Narayan Rane has joined NDA, we will think about him what should be done,” Fadnavis said.On October 1, Rane had announced that he will form a new party, which will be called ‘Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksh’. Rane’s decision of forming a new party came after he quit the Congress last week and met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah in New Delhi amid speculation that he will join the saffron party.A former chief minister during the Shiv Sena-BJP government, Rane defected to Congress in 2005 after criticising Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s son and political heir Uddhav.He was a minister in successive Congress governments till 2014 when the party lost power to the BJP. Rane lost the last Assembly elections in 2014 and a by-poll in Mumbai’s Bandra.He quit the party after state leadership dissolved the Sindhudurg unit dominated by his supporters.

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.

Nitish Kumar supports Arun Jaitley’s proposal for bringing real estate under GST

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today endorsed Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks that he saw a “strong case” for bringing the real-estate sector under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).Speaking on the sidelines of his weekly public interaction programme, Kumar said Bihar was among the first states to have raised this demand at a GST Council meeting. “We have always supported the GST and other measures that targeted black money holders. In fact, Bihar was among the first states to have raised such a demand,” Kumar, flanked by deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, told reporters.Sushil Modi is a member of a technical committee on the GST.At a programme at Harvard University two days ago, Jaitley had said that real estate was one sector that has witnessed maximum tax evasion and cash generation. “The one sector in India where maximum amount of tax evasion and cash generation takes place is real estate which is still outside the GST. Some of the states have been pressing for it. I personally believe that there is a strong case to bring real estate into the GST,” Jaitley had said while delivering a lecture at the university.

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.

BJP need to root out Congress from Gujarat, get 3/4th majority: Amit Shah in Gandhinagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> BJP chief Amit Shah today termed the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls a “battle of pride” for the ruling party and exhorted the workers to ensure an improved tally of 150 seats over the 129 it won in 2002 under the then chief minister Narendra Modi.Shah slammed the Congress and asked BJP cadres to completely “root out” the party from the prime minister’s home state.Speaking before Shah, Modi praised his trusted lieutenant as the “man of the match” for the BJP’s victory in the 2014 elections and also in the assembly polls held in Uttar Pradesh this year.The BJP president urged his party cadres to not sit idle and reach out to every citizen after Diwali to ensure a landslide victory.He appealed to BJP workers to ensure that the party wins three-fourth majority in the polls, due in December this year.”This is a battle of pride for us, as we want nothing short of three-fourth majority. As your president, I urge all party workers to give your 100 per cent. Do not sit idle after Diwali. I urge you to reach out to each and every citizen and spread Modiji’s message of development,” Shah said while addressing “Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan”.The rally was held a day after the conclusion of the party’s ‘Gujarat Guarav Yatra’ aimed at mobilising public support ahead of the Assembly polls.Noting that a two-third majority will not suffice this time, Shah recalled that the BJP had secured 129 seats when Modi was chief minister in 2002.”And now, when he is our prime minister, we must make and all-out bid to clinch 150 seats (out of the 182 in the Assembly),” Shah said.He accused the Congress of showing “fake” concern for Gujarat without naming Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi who has been addressing rallies in various parts of the state and visited a number of temples.”For five years, you will not find these Congressmen anywhere. But as election approaches, they start claiming that they would win. In this election, BJP workers need to root out the Congress completely from Gujarat,” the BJP chief said.Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who was also present, announced his government will provide farm loan up to Rs 3 lakh at zero per cent interest to farmers.”Today, I want to announce that farmers in Gujarat would now get farm loans at zero per cent interest. Till now, they were charged one per cent whereas the state and Centre used to bear the remaining 6 per cent interest. For the welfare of around 25 lakh farming families, I hereby announce that one per cent would be waived too,” the CM said.

WATCH: How safe is your check-in luggage, tweets Manipur CM over viral video of airline crew opening bags

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh shared a video on Twitter that highlighted the safety of luggage that passengers check in while travelling.”Our luggage in the flights are safe or not ? Pls see (sic),” Singh tweeted earlier in the day.The video was later revealed to have come out of Thailand, according to a New York Post article. The article also added that the rew member was identified as 27-year-old Abdullah Hayee Mayeh, who was arrested from Phuket International Airport.

Despite PM’s non-response, Nitish Kumar to raise central status for Patna University ‘again and again’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said it was his duty was to raise the issue of central university status to century-old Patna University (PU) “again and again” whether the Centre accepts it or not.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not entertained the CM’s request on the issue during his visit here on Saturday to attend the centenary celebrations of PU. “Patna University holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Bihar. The demand for a central status is not new. At the centenary celebrations on Saturday, I had only voiced a long-cherished wish of the people of the state”, Kumar told reporters after the weekly ‘Lok Samvad’ (Public Interaction) programme.Minutes after Kumar’s plea for central status to PU, Modi had said the central status was “a thing of the past” and called upon Patna University to avail of the Centre’s scheme to make at least 20 varsities in the countries world class with a financial assistance of Rs 10,000 crore. “Its my duty to raise the demand (for central university status to PU) again and again whether the Centre accepts it or not. I have no reaction over the Centre’s decision,” Kumar, who graduated from Patna Engineering College (now NIT) in early ’70s, said.
ALSO READ Nitish asks for central status for Patna University, PM Modi gives no hope; Lalu cries foulKumar said that he had raised the issue several times in Parliament when he was an MP. The state government too had placed its demand in this regard with the Centre earlier. On the poor condition of universities in Bihar, including PU due to shortage of teachers and infrastructure bottlenecks, he said as per constitutional provisions the state government’s responsibility with regard to universities is limited only to providing finance. The rest come under the jurisdiction of the chancellor, who is the governor of the day.”We would have done a lot more ourselves had the system been different,” he said adding Bihar government provides Rs 4000 crore annually for universities. “For other issues since neither I nor my cabinet have any role in the daily running of universities, we can’t intervene directly,” the CM said. Kumar conceded that there is shortage of teachers in PU and other universities in Bihar and said the state government had entrusted Bihar Public Service Commission for appointing them.To speed up the process, the state government has now constituted a University Service Commission, which will have members soon to expedite the process of teachers recruitment.He claimed that the government under him had acheived “tremendous results” in school education, which is a direct responsibility of the state government. Since 2005 when he took over the percentage of children out of school had dropped from 12.5 per cent to only one per cent now.In the secondary stage the number of boy and girl students are almost equal in government schools, he said and government initiatives like free cycle and uniforms had boosted their attendance. On the PM’s stress on building waterways through the Ganges, Kumar said it would be effective only when the siltation problem in the river is addressed and he had informed the prime minister of his view.

Himachal Pradesh polls: Congress will win with handsome majority, says Sushil Kumar Shinde

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As in-charge of poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has an important task at hand –ensure that Congress wins Himachal Pradesh assembly elections again. Shinde has welcomed the imminent elevation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress President but believes Sonia Gandhi’s relationship with the Congress party cannot be broken. Sushil Kumar Shinde spoke to Kartikeya Sharma on Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections. Here are excerpts:Q: Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as Congress President is imminent. How do you see this generational change?A: We all welcome it and in fact, I would say that we were waiting for this occasion. Even the Congress Working Committee has passed a resolution asking Rahul Gandhi to be made President of the Congress Party. The resolution was sent to the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and she has rightly indicated that he would be elevated soon.Q: What role do you see for Sonia Gandhi post-Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as President of the Congress Party?A: Sonia Gandhi has been the President of the Congress Party for the longest time. Her relationship with the party and country cannot be broken.Q: You are in charge of poll-bound Himachal Pradesh and it is being said that the incumbent Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh called you a tourist. Is it correct?A: There is nothing like this. Even if he said something like this then I would dismiss it as a joke. He is a good friend of mine and this is all I have to say.Q: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi took a meeting today and a presentation was made to him on elections in Himachal Pradesh. is it correct?A: There was no presentation made at his residence. All of us went to meet him and Rahul Gandhi asked us to work together and we assured him of that.Q: Is it correct that Congress is hiring an agency for the Himachal Pradesh elections?A: No. I’m not aware of any such suggestion.Q: When will Congress declare seats in Himachal Pradesh?A: We will do it soon. Once we receive the report from the scrutiny committee and the meeting takes place, tickets for Himachal Pradesh will be declared. We will try to finish our work before Diwali.Q: There is a lot of factionalism in Congress unit of Himachal Pradesh. The sitting minister defected to Bhartiya Janata Party? Sukhram wasn’t allowed to sit on the stage and it is being cited as a reason for his defection?A: There is no factionalism in the Congress Party. Even earlier people have left the Congress Party. I don’t want to comment further on this issue.Q: Can Congress win Himachal Pradesh again?A: People talk about anti-incumbency and constant rotation of power between Congress and BJP in Himachal Pradesh. I disagree. I have travelled through HP and the feedback I received from the public is that Chief Minister has worked well. I believe that we will come back with a handsome majority.Q: You effected a generational change in Maharashtra and Ashok Chavan could become the Chief Minister. Have you failed to do that in Himachal Pradesh?A: It depends. Maharashtra’s case was different. Even in my case, I got the party back to power in Maharashtra but I was sent away as Governor of Andhra Pradesh. Later I was recalled to Delhi as a minister. Virbhadra is contesting the assembly election for the 7th time. HP is a different case and anyways, Congress Vice President has already declared his candidature as the Chief Ministerial candidate.Q: What is your advice to senior leaders? Should all of them start playing the role of mentors?A: I don’t think Rahul Gandhi needs mentoring. Even Indira Gandhi was once also called kathputli (string puppet) once. Things changed later.Q: Don’t you think that corruption cases against the Chief Minister have become an electoral issue in Himachal Pradesh?A: Opposition has raised this issue but I don’t want to comment on it.

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.

Bengaluru: 6 killed in building collapse due to cylinder blast, many feared trapped

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least six persons were killed and some others feared trapped when a two-storeyed building collapsed due to a suspected LPG cylinder blast near Ejipura in Bengaluru on Monday.The blast took place at around 7 am.Two of the deceased have been identified as Kalavathi (68) and Ravichandran (30).”Two families were residing in the ground floor while one was on the first floor. Kalavathi and Ravichandran were in the first floor. They died on the spot while two children sustained injuries. They are safe. In the ground floor, members of two families might have been trapped,” said Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who visited the spot.”We will give a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to injured,” said Bengaluru Development Minister K.J George.According to reports, several people are still trapped under debris. The injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital and the rescue operation is on.

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

Green crackers by next Diwali?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Scientists have been asked to develop, by next year, zero-pollution firecrackers that do not cause health hazards so that everyone can celebrate Diwali without any environmental damage, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said.With Diwali, when the quantum of toxic pollutants spikes fourfold, only days away, the Supreme Court on October 9 banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1. Diwali falls on October 19. On Friday, the court clarified that crackers can be burst, but only till 11 pm, a move that looks at preventing a repeat of last year’s unprecedented pollution crisis in Delhi.Flagging off a ‘Run for Clean Air’ campaign, Harsh Vardhan told a gathering of students that the ill-effects of pollution cause maximum problems to children. On Friday, the Supreme Court upheld its ban and lamented that it was given a communal colour by some.The minister also administered a pledge to promote clean air — “Let us together pledge for a New India… Let us together pledge towards a Clean India… Let us together pledge towards a casteism-free India”.Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma said ‘swachhta’ (cleanliness) has to be a collective endeavour. “The legacy that we leave behind in terms of clean air is very important,” he said.(With agency inputs)

Gurdaspur Results: Cong attacks SAD-BJP alliance

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the BJP faced defeat in the party stronghold Gurdaspur, which it had represented since 1998, the party’s alliance with SAD came under attack from Congress. Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said Akali Dal has been reduced to an albatross around BJP’s neck.”Time and again, people of Punjab have reprimanded the Akali leadership, but this time with our emphatic victory, BJP will also feel that Akali Dal is nothing but a burden for the party. It is, but an albatross around BJP’s neck,” said Sidhu. He added that BJP’s defeat marked the disintegration of the alliance in the state.SAD president Sukhbir Badal had campaigned for Salaria ahead of polls. While Congress mounted attack on the alliance, BJP candidate Swaran Salaria asserted that the margin of defeat was more in the Akali-dominated segments.Out of the nine Assembly segments, four are considered to be BJP dominated, while five are with SAD. Salaria, said the party had lost majorly in the SAD-dominated areas. “We gained 50,000 votes in BJP strong belts. Akalis lost by 1.70 lakh votes in their strongholds. It is only the Akali area which has lost. BJP has not lost any votes,” said Salaria, while talking to DNA.He alleged that Congress government had exercised its political might to unfairly swing the results in their favour. “Congress government had literally removed polling agents from the polling stations. We reported 62 such cases,” he alleged.Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa who had defeated late actor Vinod Khanna in 2009, but faced defeat in 2014 said, the result has exposed the rift between the two alliance partners.”There are chinks in the armor. Earlier in Assembly elections BJP cadre had not gone alongwith their alliance partner, SAD and six months later, when BJP needed Akali support, they did not get the complete support,” said Bajwa to DNA.Gurdaspur had witnessed a dismal turnout of 56 per cent in the elections held on October 11, which was far lower than 70 % as recorded in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.Apart from underlying resentment among the traders community against GST and demonetization, the recent allegations against SAD’s senior leader from Gurdaspur, Sucha Singh Langah of sexually exploiting a widow are also said to have marred prospects of its alliance partner, BJP.”The core vote of BJP is small shopkeepers, traders and industrialists and the core bank of the Akali Dal was farmers. Both groups have rejected SAD-BJP,” said Bajwa.

Himachal Elections 2017: Minister Anil Sharma joins BJP, CM Virbhadra Singh plays down development

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a blow to the Congress ahead of the Assembly polls, Himachal Pradesh Rural Development minister Anil Sharma today quit the Virbhadra Singh government and joined the BJP.”I have quit the Himachal cabinet and joined the BJP today,” Sharma, son of former Union communications minister Sukh Ram, said. He added that the BJP had given him the party ticket from Mandi. “The party (BJP) has informed me about this,” he said. Himachal Pradesh is slated to go to polls on November 9 and the development is seen as a jolt to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh who was declared the Congress’s poll face last week.Sharma alleged that he and his father were sidelined and being ignored in the Congress. He alleged that an AICC General Secretary had invited Sukh Ram to attend Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Mandi but on reaching the spot, he was asked not to attend the event. Is Sukh Ram not a member of the Congress? Sharma asked. “I was not included in any of the committees for the Assembly polls and when I asked about this from the HPCC president, he said that my name was deleted at the higher level, which hurt me and I decided to quit,” he said.Himachal Chief Minister Singh, however, downplayed Sharma’s resignation. “I had prior information about his quitting the party to join the BJP. But it would not impact the poll prospects of the Congress. If some other ministers also want to quit, they are free to do so,” the chief minister said. The Mandi seat was represented by Sukh Ram from 1962 till November 1984, when he was elected to the Lok Sabha and his prot g D D Thakur won the seat in 1985.In the 1993 Assembly poll, his son Anil Sharma won from Mandi but after Sukh Ram’s name surfaced in the Telecom scam, he was expelled from the Congress and formed Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) which entered into a post-poll alliance with BJP and joined the government. While Sukh Ram won from Mandi, Sharma was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998.In the 2003 Assembly polls, Sukh Ram was the sole HVC member who win a seat, again winning from Mandi. He joined the Congress ahead of the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Sharma won from Mandi in 2007 and 2012 as a Congress candidate and is set to contest as a BJP candidate this time.

Odisha: BJD MP criticised by party for praising union minister Dharmendra Pradhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A BJD MP’s praise for Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday triggered a political row and evoked sharp criticism from his party leaders, while BJP said there is truth in his remarks.As leaders of ruling BJD took strong exception to the remarks of Pinaki Mishra, Lok Sabha MP from Puri, party MLA Debashish Samantaray took a dig at Mishra for praising Pradhan terming his statement as “anti-party”.Samantaray said the performance of Oil Minister Pradhan can be assessed very well from the frequent hike in oil prices. Mishra also knows the manner in which Pradhan is working, he said.Speaking at a function yesterday, Mishra had said: “Dharmendra Babu s worst critics will also concede that he is exceptionally hard-working and very competent.” Considering the country s economic condition and steep rise in oil prices, false praise about the Union minister is not justified, said Samantray.Another senior BJD leader and state Minister Damodar Rout was sarcastic about Pinaki Mishra and said the party MP may be fond of Pradhan.BJP, on the other hand, took a jibe at BJD leaders accusing them of being unable to digest the “truth”. BJP’s state unit vice-president Samir Mohanty claimed that Pinaki had spoken the truth.”Accepting truth requires adequate strength. Inability to accept truth has shown inherent weakness in BJD leaders,” claimed Mohanty.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah favours appointing Dalit priests in temples

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a cue from neighbouring Kerala, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday spoke in favour of appointing Dalit priests at temples in the state.”No opposition to appoint Dalits as priests at Muzrai (Department of Religious and Charitable Endowments) temples in Karnataka as done in Kerala. We will do it,” Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying in Mysuru.In Karnataka there were about 35,000 temples under the department, a statement from Chief Minister’s Office said.In a landmark step, 36 non-Brahmins, including six Dalits, were recently recommended for appointment in various temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board in Kerala.The Board manages at least 1,248 shrines including the famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala had termed the appointment as a “silent revolution”.

Congress ‘influenced’ EC in 2012 Gujarat assembly polls, alleges CM Vijay Rupani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting back at the Congress, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday accused the opposition party of having influenced the Election Commission’s announcement of Gujarat Assembly poll dates in 2012.He also refuted the Congress’ charge that the poll panel delayed the announcement of Gujarat assembly election under the government’s “pressure”.”In 2012 (Assembly election), the Election Commission ensured at the behest of the Congress that the model code of conduct was in force for a record time to prevent Modiji from working, because of which the state government could not take up development work,” Rupani said at an election programme organised here by newschannel India TV.The Chief Minister also denied the allegation that the BJP government was interfering with the Election Commission’s decisions.The EC had on Thursday announced that the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh will be held in a single phase on November 9 and the results will be declared on December 18.The poll panel did not announce the dates for assembly elections in Gujarat, but Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti said that the elections will be held before December 18.The Congress had on Friday attacked the BJP for “pressuring” the EC to delay the announcement of Gujarat elections and alleged that “past practices, conventions and precedents” were being set aside to help the ruling party in the state.The opposition party alleged that the “delay” in announcing Gujarat Assembly election schedule was to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to act as a “false Santa Claus” to offer sops and use “jumlas” (rhetoric) during his October 16 visit to his home state.The model code of conduct would have come into immediate effect in Gujarat had the poll schedule been announced, it added.Countering the Congress’ allegations, Rupani said, “Congress was complaining that the BJP will advance election because of the UP result…we are not interfering in the process of the Election Commission…we are not delaying elections”.​

From PM Modi to President Kovind, India pays tribute to APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday led the nation in remembering the ‘Missile Man’ of India, A P J Abdul Kalam, on his 86th birth anniversary.In his home state Tamil Nadu, the birth anniversary of the former president was marked by planting of trees and floral tributes.At Kalam’s memorial in Peikarambu near his home town Rameswaram, his family members and people from various walks of life, including students, paid floral tributes.Kovind described the Missile Man as one of the greatest visionaries who ignited young minds, while Modi praised Kalam saying his personality inspired millions.Speaking with a group of children who arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhavan from Rameswaram by the bus ‘Dr Kalam Sandesh Vahini Vision 2020’, Kovind said he saluted Kalam and his monumental achievements as a scientist, a scholar and as the president of India.”One of the best ways of building the character of the youth of any country is to inspire them to read biographies of great personalities,” he said.The president said Kalam was one of India’s greatest visionaries and is fondly remembered as ‘Missile Man of India’ and ‘People’s President’.The Kalam Sandesh Vahini bus presents the life story of the former president in a very interesting manner, he said.Earlier, Kovind paid floral tributes at the portrait of Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.Modi in a tweet said, “Remembering our beloved former president, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary. His endearing personality inspires millions”.The prime minister shared a short video containing glimpses from the life of Kalam and his own (Modi’s) earlier speech praising the late scientist.In Chennai, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit led the state in remembering Kalam.Purohit paid floral tributes to a statue of Kalam at the Raj Bhavan here, an official release said.At Peikarumbu, students, government representatives and public thronged his memorial to pay their respects.The memorial, construction work on which began on his last birth anniversary, was inaugurated by the prime minister in July this year.Family members of Kalam, Tamil Nadu Information Technology Minister M Manikandan, Ramanathapuram District Collector S Natarajan and others paid their tributes at the memorial.Students of the Mandapam Panchayat Union Primary School, where Kalam had studied, remembered him and took a oath to uphold his ideals.In Chennai, at a function held at the Adyar Cancer Institute, its chairperson and Padma Vibhushan awardee V Shanta planted a sapling to mark Kalam’s birth anniversary.”We cannot have a more inspiring leader than what we have had (in the past),” she said.Film actor Vivekh, an ardent supporter of Kalam, took part in various functions where saplings were planted across the city on the occasion.Kalam was born on October 15, 1931. He was a popular head of state between 2002 and 2007. Kalam died on July 27, 2015.

Rajnath Singh’s remark on Patel not being allowed to act freely admission that Kashmir not a part of India: Hurriyat

Updated: Oct 15, 2017, 07:51 PM IST, PTI

Singh said had Patel, India’s first home minister, been allowed to act freely by then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, India would not have been facing the Kashmir issue <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference said today that Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s remark suggesting Vallabhbhai Patel was not allowed to act freely to solve the Kashmir issue, was an “admission” that Kashmir was not a part of India.Addressing a political gathering in Gujarat yesterday, Singh said had Patel, India’s first home minister, been allowed to act freely by then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, India would not have been facing the Kashmir issue today.A Hurriyat Conference spokesman said Singh’s remark was an “admission that Kashmir is not part of India”.He said Kashmir “continues to be a dispute” and India itself took it to the United Nations.

SEE PICS: Environment minister Harsh Vardhan asks scientists to develop zero-pollution firecrackers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday appealed to Indian scientists to develop firecrackers that would not emit hazardous chemicals, resulting in toxic air and in the process, pollution.In a series of tweets, Harsh Vardhan, who attended the ‘Run for Clean Air’, said that combating pollution and protecting the environment can be effectively done through small Green deeds by each & every citizen of the country.Last week, the Environment Minister was slammed on Twitter for tweeting in support of the SC order.The SC put a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till October 31, keeping the increasing pollution under consideration.While many people across the nation have welcomed the SC’s decision, the same has also been met with a fair amount of criticism from those who feel it’s an insult to Hindu tradition.

BJP divided over inducting ex-TMC MP Mukul Roy, final decision in one-two days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Whether to induct Mukul Roy, a heavyweight in Bengal politics is now a matter of huge dilemma for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On one hand, it may give a shot in the arm for party’s organisation in Bengal where it is still in nascent state . The flipside though is with corruption allegations against Mukul Roy, the party may lose its sting while attacking the Mamata Banerjee government if it gets the senior leader in their fold. Mukul Roy after resigning from Rajya Sabha was tight-lipped about his political futures, but it does look like he is inclined towards joining the saffron party. According to PTI report,” Within one-two days a decision will be taken on this issue,” a senior BJP leader privy to the developments told PTI. “Roy’s induction into the party will help us in expanding the party base in the state. His organisational skill and knowledge of the ground level situation will be of great help,” said another BJP leader.However there are some who believe Mukul Roy’s effectiveness as an able organiser is grossly overrated, and he is not even a shadow of himself without the guidance of Mamata Banerjee. They fear that the stench of corruption that Mukul will bring will also haunt them and blunt their attacks against the Mamata regime. It is to be remembered, that Mukul as the no 2 in the TMC hierarchy, frequently used to be targetted by central BJP leaders for being corrupt. Thus many believe Mukul Roy may become a political liability. However state BJP President Dilip Ghosh has lauded Mukul Roy recently and acknowledged his role in bringing TMC to power in the state by ousting the Left. Mukul in the last few days have met several high profile BJP leaders including Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. He even hailed BJP for helping TMC to grow in the state in its early days. Looks like Mukul Roy is all set to join the saffron bandwagon provided BJP central leadership gives its final nod. With agency inputs

China has started to understand that India is no more weak: Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the country’s borders were “completely safe” and China has also understood that “India is no more weak”.Singh said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has become a powerful country and its prestige at the international level has grown.”India’s borders are completely safe, and China has started to understand that India is no more weak. Its strength has grown,”he said. Singh, who represents Lucknow in the Lok Sabha, was addressing people at a programme organised here by the Bhartiya Lodhi Mahasabha.”Since the formation of government at the Centre under the leadership of PM Modi, India has become a powerful country in the world. India’s prestige at the international level has grown,” he said.The Union home minister also hit out at Pakistan for “sending terrorists” to India. “It (Pakistan) tries to break India, but our security personnel every day kill two to four terrorists,” he added.

Palace on wings: Raje plans ‘height’ of tourism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seen the Palace on Wheels? That’s passe. Sample this: The state government is planning to boost tourism through air connectivity. It is working on a plan ‘palace on wings’ on the lines of ‘palace on wheels’.The plan was approved during a recent meeting with Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha and the tourism department was asked to prepare a comprehensive plan. It entails a package through which tourists will be taken to prominent forts and heritage sites in a helicopter. The idea is to attract foreign and up-market tourists.There could be two or three packages which include Amer, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh Fort and Durg. A separate package may have other places of heritage importance.Recently, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha approved a plan to expand air services in the state. As part of it, palace on wings scheme was also cleared to provide air connectivity to heritage places. Prominent forts, monuments and heritage properties would be connected through helicopter services and the plan is to popularise it like the Palace on Wheels. The helicopterS that would be taken on leases will have heritage facilities.CM Raje is taking a keen interest in this scheme. Rajasthan would become a major hub of civil aviation and state tourism could reach new heights. It is also possible that in future other historic places in the country may get connected with Rajasthan’s heritage sites.’HEIGHT’ OF SCHEMEHelicopter service to connect Sawai Madhopur fort, Chittorgarh Fort, Amber Fort and other heritage sites6 to 8 helicopters would be taken on leaseHelicopters would be multi-engineInitially, many forts and historic sites would be covered in a dayPackage would be from morning to eveningStudy of religious and other sites where air connectivity is present

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

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.

LK Advani backed Pranab Mukherjee as Prez nominee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly a month before BJP named PA Sangma its Presidential nominee to contest against UPA’s Pranab Mukherjee, in June, 2012, LK Advani had favoured Mukherjee as the “unanimous choice” for the post, according to the book penned by Mukherjee.In the book, The Coalition Years 1996-2015, which was released on Friday, Mukherjee says that on May 27, 2012, renowned journalist and MoS for External Affairs MJ Akbar had apprised him of his informal discussions earlier that day with Advani and former Union minister Jaswant Singh regarding his candidature.Mukherjee claims that Akbar insisted that both Advani and Singh were supportive of his candidature. “They had told him (Akbar) that if the Congress officially nominated me, they would extend their support, thus making me the unanimous choice,” Mukherjee says in the book.Interestingly, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, a close confidante of Advani, had in the last week of April, 2012, announced that the BJP will not back Mukherjee’s candidature as he was an active Congress leader.Also, the then NDA ally JDU had formally announced support for Mukherjee’s candidature in the last week of June that year, but Nitish Kumar had distanced himself from Swaraj’s views much earlier.In the period between April and May, despite Swaraj’s categorical remarks, there was intense speculation that Mukherjee could emerge as a consensus candidate.Mukherjee further says in the book that the conversation between Akbar and BJP leaders was not made public, and he thought it was imprudent to do so as the Congress was yet to take a decision in this regard. It was only on May 29 that Congress President’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel, informed him that Sonia Gandhi had “perhaps finalised” his name as UPA’s Presidential nominee.The confusion over the issue remained till June 14, when he was told about the party’s decision to nominate him.In the book, Mukherjee also presents an interesting account of how he went to meet the then Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, despite being told by the party to not do so, after the Sena leader announced support for his candidature and invited him for an interaction at his residence.Thackeray later told Mukherjee that he found him “distinctly different from other Congress politicians”. “Sonia Gandhi was not enthusiastic about my meeting with Thackeray and had advised me to avoid it, if possible,” he says, adding that Sharad Pawar’s advice was completely different and he insisted that Mukherjee must meet Thackeray.He further says that when he returned to Delhi afterwards, Congress leader Girija Vyas informed him that Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel were “upset” about his meeting with Thackeray.Mukherjee, who held key portfolios in UPA I and UPA II governments, also briefly mentions the “differences” between him and P. Chidambaram, which had escalated in 2011, when they were Finance Minister and Home Minister, respectively.Noting that Chidambaram entered politics much later than him, Mukherjee recalls that the latter’s second Union Budget, presented in 1997-1998, was not the “dream budget” as it was dubbed, though it “did not exactly morph into a nightmare”. According to Mukherjee, Chidambaram is intellectually sharp and well-informed, though he sometimes “appears to be arrogant” because of his very strong convictions and “style of presentation”.On the front of economy, he says his differences with Chidambaram might have been due to the “differing perspectives on the economy”. In the book, Mukherjee also praises former Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao, saying he provided “stellar leadership” to India at a critical juncture.

BJP lodges police complaint against Congress minister who hurled expletive at PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Peeved at an expletive hurled at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP’s Karnataka unit today lodged a police complaint against state Minister R Roshan Baig who is embroiled in the controversy over his alleged remarks.In a written complaint to the police, the party’s city unit and BJP MLAs said Baig has given statements in public “which are wholly defamatory and absolutely false.” “It is relevant to bring to your notice that Roshan Baig, Minister of Karnataka, has issued certain statements against Narendra Modi, which are wholly defamatory and absolutely false and reckless allegations,” the complaint said.Referring to a viral video clipping showing Baig allegedly using the expletive, the leaders said he has crossed all limits of free speech and decency.”This is a penal offence under section 99 of the Indian Penal Code… The BJP is filing this criminal complaint and requesting (you) to register a case against Roshan Baig,” the leaders said in the complaint.The complaint was filed at the Malleshwaram police station by MLAs B N Vijaykumar and Ashwathnarayan, and city unit president Sadashiv, among others.In his remark, Baig had said, “When Modi was voted to power as prime minister, his supporters said he is our son.But, now what has happened? He banned Rs 1000 note. Banned Rs 500 note. Now, these very same people are chiding him,”. He then went on to use an expletive.It stirred a huge controversy as the video clipping of his speech, delivered in Tamil, was aired by TV channels.Baig made the remark in his address to Congress workers of Pulikeshinagar assembly constituency in the city, which has a large Tamil population, four days ago.Baig later said he did not know Tamil properly.”If I have hurt anyone’s feelings while speaking in my broken Tamil, I apologise for it,” he had said, adding that he never used such language against the prime minister

Mamata Banerjee condemns death of Sub-Inspector Amitabha Malik who was attacked by GJM supporters

Updated: Oct 14, 2017, 10:02 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today recalled meeting the slain Sub-Inspector Amitabha Malik in Darjeeling and hailed the cop as a “good and courageous officer”.Malik was killed and four other policemen were seriously injured when Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters, owing allegiance to its chief Bimal Gurung, allegedly fired at a police team in a forest area near Darjeeling yesterday.The chief minister expressed shock at the untimely demise of Malik and said her government will always stand beside the bereaved family and extend all cooperation.
ALSO READ GJM violence: Cop killed, two injured in fire exchange in Darjeeling”I met him in Darjeeling. He was a very good and courageous officer,” she said.State secretariat sources said that the DGP Surajit Kar Purokayastha would visit Darjeeling next week.

‘You are maligning nation’s name,’ Smriti Irani’s stinging comeback at Rahul Gandhi over Global Hunger Index

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Citing the Global Hunger Index, Rahul Gandhi has attacked the government in a veiled manner, evoking a sharp reaction from Union minister Smriti Irani who said the Congress vice president was out to “malign” the nation in his bid to run down Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Gandhi tweeted a news report on the Global Hunger Index along with a Hindi couplet by poet Dushyant Kumar which read: “bhookh hai to sabr kar, roti nahi to kya hua, aajkal dilli mein hai zer-e-behas yeh mudda (if you are hungry, be patient, what if bread is not available, the issue is being discussed in Delhi.”;Irani, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Textiles, responded to Gandhi’s tweet in a similar fashion.”Ae satta ki bhookh, sabr kar, aankde sath nahi to kya, khudgarzon ko jama kar, mulk ki badnami ka shor toh macha hi lenge (hey hunger for power, be patient, what if you don’t have the numbers, you can collect selfish people, noise can be made to malign the country),” she wrote.In another tweet, the Information and Broadcasting Minister said, “Not surprising that in his keenness to run down Hon PM, Rahul Gandhi maligns the Nation.” Along with this tweet, Irani posted a statement by Health Minister J P Nadda which read: “Facts vs Fiction on Global Hunger Index to enlighten people who are keen to run down our country by twisting facts.”​

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.

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

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