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BJP alleges ruling MLAs assaulted Delhi bureaucrat, AAP denies
New Delhi, Feb 20: A war of words erupted on Tuesday between the AAP and the BJP over an alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by Aam Aadmi party legislators in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vijender Gupta, who is also the Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, alleged Kejriwal "in his dictatorial style" called the Chief Secretary at midnight on Monday and "berated" him in front of his MLAs, an allegation, AAP said was "ludicrous".  "Drunk on power CM (Chief Minister) was concerned about why more funds were not dispersed for advertisements. Such is the state of affairs under AAP," Gupta tweeted.  "In total, nine AAP MLAs were present at the CM's residence when the Chief Secretary was assaulted. They represent people of Delhi but are nothing short of urban naxalites. How utterly disgusting behaviour!" he said.   But Delhi gove...




Don't need certificate from those into divisive politics: Hardik Patel
Bhopal, Feb 19: Gujarat's Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Monday said that he didn't want a certificate on patriotism from those who were pursuing divisive politics in the country.  "All types of things have been said about my Bhopal visit -- that it will promote casteism. If talking of the interests of farmers, youths and jobs is casteism, then I will do it. But those who want to do politics of Hindus and Muslims, and want to break this country do not call it casteism, but patriotism. I don't want a certificate from such people," Patel told the media here.  Asked if he would campaign in the coming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh later this year, the Patidar leader said: "There is no harm in doing good work. I will continue to do good work."  The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader was on a one-day visit to the state capital.    --(IANS)




Dalit protests across Gujarat, Mevani detained
Ahmedabad, Feb 18: A day ahead of the first budget session of the new Gujarat Assembly, Dalit leader and lawmaker Jignesh Mevani was detained by police here on Sunday amid state-wide protests against death of Dalit activist Bhanubhai Vankar.  Mevani broke into heated arguments with police when he was being detained in Saraspur suburb of Ahmedabad.   "Gujarat does not belong to your father... give me your buckle number, I am an elected MLA and you have no business to insult me," a furious Mevani shouted at a police constable, after he and 100 others were detained.  When police was taking him out of his car, he claimed he was being manhandled and an elected legislator could not be treated like this. The MLA alleged the cops had barged into his car, pulled out the ignition keys and broke them.  Police denied the charges. Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, J.K. Bhatt told reporters: "It is wrong to say that police ill-treated ...




India, Iran sign nine agreements, agree to stop terror forces
New Delhi, Feb 17: India and Iran on Saturday pledged to stop the forces of terrorism and extremism, delinking it from religion and agreed that there should be an end to terror sanctuaries even as the two countries broad-based their relationship by signing nine agreements, including one on connectivity relating to the strategic Chabahar port.  Reflecting the deepening of ties between the two countries, visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who held one-on-one and delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said energy and transportation were two great potentials for building strategic cooperation between Iran and India.   In his remarks at a joint press conference with his guest, Modi spoke of the Sufi links between the two countries and the determination to tackle terror.   "People of both India and Iran believe in peace and tolerance drawing from the values of Sufi philosophy. Taking into account our mutual benefits, we are both c...




Modi, Jaitley knew country was being looted: Congress
New Delhi, Feb 17: The Congress on Saturday made a direct allegation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying "both were aware that the country was being looted" in the over Rs 11,000 crore PNB scam.  The party asked if Modi will order a probe in the PNB fraud.  "Why is PM Modi refusing to disclose who travels with him on his official trips? Is this the kind of 'Ease of Doing Business' PM Modi talks about," asked Congress leader Kapil Sibal.  "Some corporates are among the private persons who travel with the prime minister on official trips. I want to ask ever since he (Modi) became PM, how many assets have Nirav Modi bought and how much loans has he taken.   "You will get to know that banks' loans will be more and assets less. Will PM Modi order an inquiry on the PNB scam. These are all scams in the waiting," he added.  Sibal also said: "You have institutional...




AAP MP Sanjay Singh gets Rs 5,000 crore defamation notice
New Delhi, Feb 16: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh has been slapped with a Rs 5,000 crore defamation notice for making "false, distorted and malicious insinuations" against the Reliance Group.  The notice by the Reliance Group of companies sent to the AAP leader refers to Singh's February 13 press briefing in which he had raised "issues" regarding the purchase of 36 Rafael fighter jets from France in a government-to-government contract.  It said the press briefing contained statements about the group that "are per se defamatory and constitute serious libel".  The business group, it said, had "been seriously defamed and suffered considerable damage to their reputation and goodwill".  "Our clients reserve the rights to claim damages which at present they estimate at Rs 5,000 crore. The press briefing has grossly prejudiced and/or eroded and/or affected the image and/or reputation of...




Congress, Left parties have 'secret pact' for Tripura polls: Modi
Agartala/Santir Bazar (Tripura), Feb 15:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the Congress and Left parties of having a "secret understanding" for the February 18 Tripura Assembly polls.  "Congress and Left parties like in Kerala and West Bengal have a secret deal for the Tripura polls. To change the future of Tripura, reject the two parties and vote for BJP," Modi said while addressing two election rallies.  "Both parties destroyed Tripura. Do not trust them. By putting up candidates in the elections, Congress is doing drama in Tripura though both the Congress and Left parties have 'dosti' (friendship) in Delhi," he said.  "No big Congress leader came to Tripura for election campaign because they (Congress and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) have a clandestine pact."  Terming the Congress as "vote cutting party", the Prime Minister said the Congress is "helping&quo...




AAP's media spend is four times that of previous government: RTI reply
By Nikhil M. BabuNew Delhi, Feb 15: The AAP government has spent an average of Rs 70.5 crore annually in the past three years on advertisements -- four times more than the previous government's expenditure on print, electronic and outdoor advertising, according to an RTI reply.In the first year after assuming office in February 2015, the current government spent Rs 59.9 crore on advertisements, Rs 66.3 crore the next year and Rs 85.3 crore up to December 31, 2017, the Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP) said in reply to an RTI application by IANS.  The average annual expenditure of the AAP government on advertisements from April 2015 to December 2017 was Rs 70.5 crore. The Congress' average was Rs 17.4 crore in the last five years of its rule (2008-2013).  According to the DIP, the expenditure includes, among others, advertisements with photos of the Chief Minister and other ministers in newspapers and hoardings, commercial spots on TV and radio, and tend...




Oli to be appointed Nepal PM
Kathmandu, Feb 15:  Chairman of the CPN-UML K.P. Oli will become the 41st Prime Minister of Nepal with incumbent Sher Bhahadur Deuba set to resign from the post on Thursday.  Deuba is going to announce his resignation during a national address and  submit his resignation to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.   His resignation comes 69 days after the Federal and Provincial elections ended.   Deuba, who was elected Prime Minister in 2017, held three successful elections -- local, provincial and federal assemblies.  Oli being the leader of the largest party in the Federal Parliament, with the support of Communist Party of Nepal (CPN Maoist Centre) will take over from Deuba.   Earlier on Thursday, Oli, along with Chairman of the Maoist Center Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, met Bhandari, as the former claimed the top executive post on the basis of majority votes, the President Office said.   Oli will have to prove his majorit...




Congress leader killed in bomb blast in Jharkhand
Ranchi, Feb 13: A Congress leader was killed in a bomb blast in Jharkhand's Koderma district on Tuesday evening, police said.  According to the police, Shankar Yadav, Koderma District President of the Congress party, was killed in a bomb blast when he was travelling in his vehicle. The driver and the bodyguard have been seriously injured.  The Congress leader was travelling to Chandwara when a car laden with explosives exploded as his vehicle passed by, police said.  The Congress leader died on the spot while his driver and bodyguard were injured. They were admitted in a hospital.  Last year, Yadav survived an attack when he sustained bullet injuries.  --(IANS)




Pakistan will have to pay for Jammu 'misadventure', warns India
Jammu, Feb 12: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said militants who killed five soldiers and a civilian at an Army camp in Jammu were Pakistanis and warned that Pakistan will pay a price for the terror attack.  "Pakistan will have to pay for this misadventure," Sitharaman told reporters here. The deaths of "our soldiers won't go in vain".  The minister was in Jammu to take stock of the situation at the Sunjuwan Army camp which three heavily armed militants stormed it on Saturday morning and entered the residential quarters of junior commissioned officers, spraying bullets and hurling bombs.  The operation was called off on Monday morning after the three attackers were killed. A fourth one, she said, may have been a guide and didn't enter the military base.  Sitharaman said the three militants were all Pakistanis and were handled by their Jaish-e-Muhammad leaders across the border. "The demography of the canton...




Padma awardee accuses Manipur government of favouritism over felicitation
Imphal, Feb 11:  A Manipur weaver conferred the Padma Shri this year on Sunday accused the BJP-led coalition government in the state of "favouritism" in publicly felicitating another Padma awardee and state weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu and not her.  Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and other Ministers and high officials attended a felicitation function in Imphal on January 27 at which Chanu was handed over Rs 20 lakh in cash.   Subadani, who was recognised for her contribution to weaving in the northeast region, told the media here that she was not concerned about the cash component of the felicitation.  "I was neither given the money nor a public reception by the state government. This is incomprehensible since we both got the same awards."   She said she could pass on her knowledge and technique of weaving to coming generations.   A senior state official told IANS that there was no question of ignoring Suba...




Egg attack: Odisha CM wants charges against woman dropped
Bhubaneswar, Feb 11:  Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday directed police to withdraw all charges against the woman who hurled eggs at him a few days back.  Earlier, the police had dropped the attempt to murder charge on Rajeswari Kamila who, on January 31, threw eggs at Patnaik during the Talasari Beach Festival in Balasore district.  A case was registered against her under Sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from duty), 353 (assault to deter public servant from doing duty), 294 (obscene act in public) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.  On Thursday, a court granted conditional bail to the woman.  Kamila, the mother of an eight-month-old boy, is undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack after she became critically ill in jail.  The woman's husband alleged that he was not allowed to see his wife in the hospital.  --(IANS)




Cleric who suggested shifting of Babri site, expelled from AIMPLB
IndiaTomorrow.net,Hyderabad, Feb 11:  The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPlB) expelled the Lucknow-based cleric who suggested of shifting the Babri Masjid site and met a Hindu priest recently for the same purpose. Maulana Salman Nadvi was in the news for meeting with Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and suggesting shifting the mosque site somewhere else. He has also publicly criticized the board and put a number of allegations against its functioning.On its three-day meeting in Hyderabad the issue of Nadvi was raised on Saturday by several members and the Executive Committee of the board had set up a three-member committee to inquire into the issue.On its recommendations, on Sunday AIMPLB has removed Nadvi from the board. AIMPLB member and Advocate Zafaryab Jilani said that Maulana Nadvi had never raised such issues inside board meetings and took an oppiste turn from what AIMPLB is having since long. He also said that Maulana Nadvi had given an indication t...




Protests continue in Lok Sabha over Andhra Pradesh
New Delhi, Feb 8:  Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members along with members from the YSR Congress again staged a protest in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, forcing a brief adjournment during Question Hour.  Later, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and Union Minister from TDP Y.S. Chowdary tried to pacify the protesting members who have been demanding a special package for Andhra Pradesh.  After the House met, members from the TDP and the Yuvajana Shramika Rythu (YSR) Congress trooped near the Speaker's podium with placards and started raising slogans demanding "justice" for Andhra Pradesh.  The protest and sloganeering continued even as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan urged the members to go back to their seats.  Midway through the Question Hour, TDP MP N. Sivaprasad picked some books related to rules of proceedings from Lok Sabha Secretary General's table and tried to leave with them, prompting the Speaker to say that he was causing a thr...




HC orders day-to-day hearing of AAP MLAs disqualification case
New Delhi, Feb 7: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that it will hear the AAP MLAs plea challenging their disqualification for holding office of profit on a daily basis from Thursday.  Meanwhile, senior advocate Mohan Parasaran told a division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Chander Shekhar that the notification is a "gross violation of natural justice because the Election Commission (EC) decided the matter in undue haste and without affording and giving any opportunity of fair hearing to the petitioners".  The findings are, therefore, contrary to the provisions of Article 14 of Constitution of India, ultra vires, void ab initio and an attack on the basic fabric of democracy, the AAP MLAs said.  The legislators said that the action of the election commission is bad.  The counsel also raised the point that the MLAs were not given a fair opportunity to air their grievances before the poll panel.  Sunil Arora, who...




India hits out at secretive operations of UNSC, demands reforms
United Nations, Feb 7:  India has hit out at the secretive functioning of Security Council sanctions committees, which operate in a "subterranean universe" with no accountability, and called for reforms to make their decision-making transparent.  The "decisions of the Sanctions Committees are taken beyond the gaze of public knowledge, with no explanation of the inputs that go into their decision making," India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin told the Council on Tuesday. "For want of a better depiction, it would appear these committees form the 'subterranean' universe of the Council."  The criticism was directed primarily at the UN's failure to declare Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a global terrorist because of China's veto in the so-called 1267 Sanctions Committee that deals with the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and associated individuals groups. However, Akbaruddin did not directly me...




Communal forces rising, only industrialists benefiting under Modi: Kharge
New Delhi, Feb 6:  Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday attacked the Narendra Modi government, alleging that communal forces were raising their head, weaker sections were being suppressed, the freedom of speech was being snatched and women and children were not feeling safe.  Taking part in the motion of thanks on the President's address in the Lok Sabha, Kharge also attacked Modi over loss of lives due to frequent ceasefire violations in Kashmir and asked where was his "56-inch-chest."  Kharge spoke amid sloganeering by TDP members who were protesting near the Speaker's podium over their demand to fulfil promises to Andhra Pradesh on the state reorganisation bill. Congress President Sonia Gandhi repeatedly said "shame, shame" as Kharge levelled charges against the government.  Demanding a loan waiver for farmers and tabling of the Women's Reservation Bill in the next session of parliament, he also accused Mod...




Manipur Catholic schools shut down after threats
Imphal, Feb 6:  All the Christian missionary schools in and around Imphal, Manipur, remained shut indefinitely for the second day on Tuesday following threats from insurgents.  Manipur's Education Minister T. Radheshyam appealed to the insurgent group, Kangleipak Communist Party (Military Council) not to vitiate the academic atmosphere in the Catholic schools.   Radheshyam said, "These educational institutes have been imparting formal education to over one lakh students in the state. There should not be any ban on these institutes in the larger interest of the students."  Though the Minister assured "adequate security" and urged the parents and school bus drivers to send the students to these institutes, the parents said they are not convinced.  The Principals of some schools declined to disclose the demands of the insurgents but said the schools and colleges will be closed till the threats are withdrawn.  ...




Noida 'fake encounter' issue: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 p.m.
New Delhi, Feb 5:  The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 p.m., on Monday, minutes after it met for the day amid ruckus by Samajwadi Party (SP) members.  As soon as the House assembled, the SP members protested against police shoot-outs in Uttar Pradesh and demanded a discussion on it.  Party MP Naresh Agarwal gave a notice under a rule to suspend all the listed business and hold the discussion.   Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu refused to admit the notice, saying he would allow a discussion under another rule.  Shouting slogans, the protesting SP members did not allow others to raise any issue  during Zero Hour.   --(IANS)




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