Ayodhya Mayor calls Ram temple land scam charges ‘conspiracy’ - The Daily Guardian
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Ayodhya Mayor calls Ram temple land scam charges ‘conspiracy’

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A view of Ayodhya from Sarayu river.

The politics of Uttar Pradesh has heated up after allegations of scam on the land purchased by the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust for the construction of the temple in Ayodhya. These allegations of scam have been made by the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and former Samajwadi Party MLA from Ayodhya and former minister Pawan Pandey. Since then, accusations and counter-accusations have been made by all the Opposition parties and trusts.

Reacting to such accusations, Ayodhya Mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay said: “The construction work of the mandir of Shri Ram is going on. At this time, the whole country wants to build its house in Ayodhya. The Uttar Pradesh government is also running a 1,200-acre master plan in Ayodhya, on which work is going on at a fast pace. The land near the railway station was decided by the Trust. The land allotted was less than the market rate. According to the circle rate, that land was worth Rs 24 crore. We got that land for Rs 18.5 crore. There has been an agreement sale since 2011. This was not a day’s work, the allegation is baseless.”

Upadhyay added: “The land was in the name of Sultan Ansari’s father in 2011. Renewal took place in 2014, 2017 and 2019. After 2019, when the verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi came, the price of land in Ayodhya started increasing rapidly. Sultan Ansari is a resident of Ramkot. Ansari gave the land in the name of Lord Ram. I am only a witness. There are many such lands in which I am a witness, Kaushalya Bhawan, etc.” 

Asked whether he was a witness in the land purchase of Sultan Ansari and the Trust also, Rishikesh Upadhyay said: “I am a witness in the purchase of many temples. The witness is only for the fact that you took so much money in lieu of the land. The witness has nothing to do with the rest of the work.” 

But Opposition parties have leveled a volley of accusations. Addressing a press conference virtually on Monday, Randeep Surjewala, general secretary of the Congress, said, “The trust was established on the direction of the Supreme Court and now the court should take cognisance of the issue and investigate the matter.”  He said the court should audit all the accounts and make public the report including the purchase of the land. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, too, attacked the people involved in the deal and said in a tweet, “The misuse of contribution is disrespect to crores of devotees’ faith.”

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia on Monday accused the Ram temple trust of buying a piece of land for the proposed shrine inAyodhya at an inflated price. “The Ram Janmabhoomi Trust has purchased a piece of land in Ayodhya for Rs 18.5 crore. It was sold for just Rs 2 crore five minutes before it was bought by the Ram temple trust. There has been a scam in purchasing this land for the pious work of building the Ram temple. The Trust must clarify why the land was bought at such a high price,” he said at a press conference in Delhi. 

The allegation on the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust is that they have purchased land for the temple of Rs 18.5 crore which was purchased at Rs 2 crore. But the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has strongly denied allegations of corruption levelled by opposition parties, in land purchase. A statement, signed by Trust secretary Champat Rai, said, “After the Supreme Court order, a lot of people started coming to Ayodhya to purchase land, and as the UP government is also purchasing a lot of land for development works, the land price increased suddenly. The land on which discussion has started is very close to the railway station and, therefore, is at a very important location. All the land purchased by the Trust is purchased at a price much lower than the market price.”

Asked if the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress are raising this issue ahead of the elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Mayor of Ayodhya said: “Absolutely. This is a political conspiracy. This is a conspiracy to mislead the country. Chief Minister Yogiji did a good job regarding corona pandemic crisis control. This is the anger of the Opposition parties. If nothing can be found, then raise this issue.” 

Asked about an investigation, he said: “Absolutely. The difference between the truth and lies will emerge. These people do not believe in Ram. These people are shocked by the popularity of Yogiji.”

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People commenting on Internet need to be kinder: Suhaani Shah

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Suhaani Shah is disrupting and redefining the magic space in India with an ability to read minds with remarkable accuracy. The magician recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX Influencer A-List and shared art of mentalism, how she learnt, experience of being a woman magician and much more.

Speaking about the concept of mentalism and who is a mentalist, she said, “In India, mentalist profession is not too popular. To explain in layman’s language, magic is the parent category under which there are different genres such as illusionism, escapology, street magic, parlour magic and mentalism. So, it is sub genres of magic. You can also call me a magician and as a magician, I expertise more as a mentalist. In mentalism, there are no props. It’s just mentalist and people and their minds become prop. Mentalist is a magician who does magic without props, just by trying to read or giving an illusion of reading people’s minds, influencing and getting information out from them.”

Talking about how she learnt mentalism, she shared, “I haven’t learnt it from anywhere but I started performing magic in general when I was 7 years old. In the process of doing stage shows, it was mixed of all magic genres. I used to do proper stage shows by traveling city to city. Few years back, I realised that was too much. If I wanted to get into corporate sector and level up my game, I need to do something because stand-up comedy had taken over the country. I realised it’s important to capitalize on that as well. So, what I did was, from an illusionist I started to adapt into mentalism. I did an entire show of mentalism and the videos went viral. I never took formal training for anything in terms of magic. My transformation was slow, but then, 2017 was the time when I turned into mentalist and decided to continue as I loved it the most.”

Sharing the advantages and disadvantages of being a women digital content creator in a digital space, she said, “There have been lots of disadvantages. Even before starting YouTube live streaming and taking up digital space, I was really worried of being trolled. But when I started, there was lot of love. I think I was overthinking negativity a lot. A lot of times, its projection of what you are doing. It was not that I never got negativity. What I realised, which I still do even after a year and having million subscribers on YouTube, is that I am not allowed to make mistakes as a woman. I have seen my co-streamers from the other gender making mistakes, which is taken in a fun. Although I am learning to be thick skin to negative comments but it still affects at sometimes. I have known my co-female creators getting threats just for being opinionated and putting out their views. I feel it’s just reflection of our culture, the more the women come out, face these things and be vocal about it, the safer space they’ll be creating for themselves. There are more men than women on internet, that needs to change. It will happen in its own time.”

When asked about what does it feels like to be a women magician, she responded, “The moment you say magician, nobody ever think of a woman and I don’t know why. It’s like an identity threat to me. To be honest, I didn’t think of this till a few years back when another journalist had asked me this question. I am not massively involved in Indian magic communities, so I didn’t know what’s scene there. I didn’t really think of pros and cons. I have to keep my guards up and keep myself safe. I just focus on my craft and work.”

She concluded by sharing her content creators community’s present needs and said, “What I think is needed is to create safe space on internet. I am speaking as a person on digital space. People commenting on internet needs to be kinder, people creating content needs to be more careful. It’s very important to be wise and thoughtful of what we are putting on internet.

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I play around with illusions: David Nobo

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David Nobo is a modern-day magician, illusionist, artist and content creator. His tricks leave people spell bound. David Nobo recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List. In this exclusive conversation, he talked about his work as magician, kind of illusions he does, his experiences of virtual performances and much more.

Speaking about his work as magician, he said, “I am what they used to call a magician 15 years ago. But then I thank people for making magic clichéd. As soon as we decided to enter into corporate market, we decided to call ourselves ‘illusionist’, just to make magic great again.”

Talking about kind of illusions he does, he shared, “You could expect a lot of interactions, mind-reading, surprises, things appearing, disappearing, people coming up on stage and strange things happening to them, sometimes losing their memories. I play around with illusions that are both optical as visuals as well as psychological. I try to blend both to create a slightly different kind/brand of magic.”

When asked about what difference it makes to be physically out there on a stage vs. performing magic on a virtual platform,  he responded, “I look up to a magician from Las Vegas, who says that ‘all the world is stage’ like Shakespeare. You don’t really need a stage or platform to do magic. 20 years ago, I first started learning magic. After coming from school, I rushed into my room where I had a shoebox with tricks and apparatus in it. I would practice pretending to be on a stage and listening to imaginary applause. 20 years later, I am back in this room with my little box of trick, pretending to be on stage and listening to imaginary applause virtually.  I have given performing in the bedroom a whole new meaning.”

Telling about viability and feasibility of magic as a career option, he expressed, “It is a feasible career option because that’s what I have been doing for the last 15 years. I wouldn’t lie by saying that I have been sailing through Covid. No, it has been difficult. I had to re-adjust a lot of things. Magic doesn’t draw many people because the secret, which people think is the most important part of effect (which is not), is often uninteresting and it involves a lot of practice too. If you want anything enough, you are going to make it. You’ll take up decision and make that decision the right decision.”

Speaking about if going digital is the way forward as far as illusionist is concerned, he expressed, “Digital is part of way forward. No matter how much Covid or any other pandemic happens, nothing beats the human connection of a live show. But right now, going digital has been a blessing.”

Concluding the conversation by expressing the requirements of his and other Indian illusionists, he shared “We are craving for gigs and audience. Best thing about being able to do magic virtually is it is interactive. A lot of magicians need to up their game, understand their audiences and connect to them. Moving with time or being a little ahead of your time rather than behind is always better.”

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Beachside horror: 2 minors raped in Goa

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The incidents of crime in Goa continue abated with news coming in of the alleged rape of two minors at seaside town of Benaulim in South Goa.

Two minor girls in their complaint to the Colva police station have alleged that they were raped at the Benaulim beachside on Sunday night.

Noted women’s right activist Auda Viegas, founder, Bailancho Ekvott, currently counseling the minors, told The Daily Guardian that the girls were chatting with their two male friends on the waterfront when they decided to go back home. At approximately 3:30 am, they saw a car on the beach with 4 people standing next to it. They impersonated as cops and threatened the girls while beating up their male friends with rods. They took one girl to the shrubs and the other in the car to sexually assault them. Even after trying to run away from the car, the accused caught up and raped the minors. They even taped the girls and tried to blackmail them for extorting money.

Goa police has arrested the four accused and they are being interrogated.

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BROUGHT FARMERS’ MESSAGE: RAHUL DRIVES TRACTOR TO PARLIAMENT

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday drove a tractor to reach Parliament in protest against the three farm laws.

“I have brought farmers’ message to Parliament. They (The government) are suppressing the voices of farmers and not letting a discussion take place in Parliament. They will have to repeal these black laws. The entire country knows these laws favour 2-3 big businessmen,” he said, adding: “As per the government, farmers are very happy and those (protesting farmers) sitting outside are terrorists. But in reality, farmers’ rights are being snatched away.”

Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by Congress MPs, who raised slogans against the farm laws and the Centre.

Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

WITH ANI INPUTS

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SC WON’T STAY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST GAMBHIR’S FOUNDATION

Ashish Sinha

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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the proceedings against BJP MP Gautam Gambhir’s foundation in a case relating to illegal procuring and distribution of Covid-19 medicines. “You may have done this for charity, but if permitted, it could lead to serious discrepancy in drug supply,” the Supreme Court said. 

While refusing the plea filed by BJP MP Gautam Gambhir, the Supreme court observed: “It is not for individuals to hoard essential medicines and distribute to sections of population when commoners were running from pillar to post during the second wave. This is not done. We do not want to say anything, but we also have our ears to the ground,” the bench said.

However, the top court permitted Gautam Gambhir’s foundation to intervene in the pending proceedings before the Delhi High Court. During the hearing, senior advocate Kailash Vasdev, appearing for the foundation, sought a stay on the prosecution under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. 

Earlier, the Delhi government’s drug controller had told the Delhi High Court that Gambhir’s foundation has been found guilty of unauthorized stocking, procuring and distributing the Fabiflu medicine to Covid-19 patients. On May 24, the Delhi High Court had directed the Drugs Controller to conduct an inquiry against Gautam Gambhir, AAP MLAs Preeti Tomar and Praveen Kumar in a case of unauthorized distribution of Covid drugs.

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OUST BJP GOVT IN KARNATAKA, CM REJIG OF NO USE: CONGRESS

Siddaramaiah says ‘there is no benefit for the common man if one corrupt CM is removed to make way for another corrupt CM’.

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The Congress in Karnataka on Monday demanded the ouster of the BJP government in Karnataka instead of the party finding a replacement for Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who resigned on Monday.

Alleging that the BJP government in Karnataka was “illegitimate as it was born out of defections and corruption”, the main Opposition party wondered whether changing the face would also change the government’s “diabolical character”. “There is no benefit for the common man if one corrupt CM is removed to make way for another corrupt CM. Instead the whole BJP party, which is responsible for the miseries of people, should be ousted,” former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, tweeted.

Reacting to Yediyurappa’s resignation, the Congress stalwart said: “The power politics in BJP is unfortunate when people are suffering due to natural calamities. Crops have been destroyed in many districts due to floods and nine people have lost their lives. It is unfortunate that the representatives of the government are busy in power politics instead of helping the people in distress.”

The Congress national general secretary and party’s Karnataka in

charge Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that the malady is with BJP’s corrupt government and appalling maladministration in Karnataka, for it is an illegitimate government born out of “defections and corruption”.

“Will merely changing the face change the diabolical character of the BJP government synonymous with mal-governance & decay?” Surjewala said in his tweet. “The ignominy, torment and insult being heaped upon Sh. BS Yediyurappa by Modiji, dictating him to tender his resignation, makes him PM’s latest victim and member of the ‘forced retirement club’,” Surjewala tweeted.

In his reaction to Yediyurappa’s resignation, the Congress state president D.K. Shivakumar said the Chief Minister should explain why he turned emotional and choked when he announced his resignation. “It is not Yediyurappa who was crying but the state and its chief minister were in tears. We opposition parties are different but he represents the government. That’s why Yediyurappa should explain whether he was crying, the state was crying or the party was crying,” Shivakumar told reporters here.

While announcing his resignation, an emotional Yediyurappa pointed out that a few MLAs from his party were not happy with him, sending out a signal that he was upset with their statements. Most vocal among the BJP legislators was Vijayapura MLA

Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who had predicted the exit of Yediyurappa, alleging that he and his family members were involved in corruption. Targeting Yediyurappa, his MP-son BY Raghavendra and BJP state vice president BY Vijayendra, Yatnal had even asked the BJP central leadership to end the “dynastic politics” in Karnataka BJP. MLC A H Vishwanath had also repeatedly demanded Yediyurappa’s resignation.

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