The Supreme Court has given one more month to the Centre to implement its February judgment which ordered permanent commission for eligible women officers in the Indian Army. The Centre has been asked to comply with the apex court order in letter and spirit. The Ministry of Defence submitted that decision making is at its final stage and only formal orders remain to be issued.
The Centre had sought an extension of six months over the 17 May deadline citing Covid-19 pandemic. It had contended that the pandemic affected administrative functioning of the Defence Ministry and the Indian Army and timely compliance with court orders could not take place.
Ruling in favour of women officers in February, the top court had pulled up the Centre for non-implementation of the Delhi High Court order. The apex court criticised the Centre’s submissions, stating that such a stand caused incalculable loss to the serving women officers. The top court had emphasised that attitudes needed to change after 70 years of Independence and casting aspersions on women’s ability and achievements were tantamount to insulting women and the armed forces.
The ruling was based on the cornerstone of non-discrimination in employment is a fundamental right under the law.
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BJP MPs, MLAs detained by Sambalpur police for protesting without permission
Sambalpur (Odisha) [India], January 23 (ANI): More than 15 top BJP leaders including three MPs, eight MLAs and Leader of Opposition are sitting on a dharna inside the Town Police station in Sambalpur district since Thursday protesting against the anti-farmer policy of the Odisha Government and demanding procurement of all surplus paddy of farmers.
The BJP leaders who are on dharna include the co-party in charge of Odisha Bijay Pal Singh Tomar, State BJP President Samir Mohanty, Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Nayak, Baragad MP Suresh Pujari, Bolangir MP Sangeeta Singhdeo, Kalahandi MP Basanta Panda, former Minister K V Singh Deo and Sambalpur MLA Jayanarayan Mishra, Loisinga MLA Dr. Mukesh Mahaling.
The BJP leaders were taken into custody on Thursday while they were marching in a procession to gherao the office of the RDC Sambalpur after the death of a farmer in a mandi while he was waiting to the sale his 100 quintals of paddy.
Before their arrest, they held a meeting at Ainthapalli and slammed the state government for their anti-farmer policy.
Sambalpur Superintendent of Police (SP) B. Gangadhar said they were arrested as they did not have permission to gherao the RDC office.
Pradeepta Kumar Nayak leader of Opposition in Odisha Legislative Assembly, Suresh Pujhari MP Bargad and Samir Mohanty BJP State President alleged that hundreds of farmers braving chilly weather conditions were sitting with their paddy in the open for months waiting for the procurement of their products but the government was not paying any heed to their demand.
The BJP leaders alleged that the problems in paddy procurement arose due to the introduction of the token system and they demanded to do away with the provision and procure all surplus paddy from farmers.
While the BJP leaders were sitting on dharna and sleeping inside the Police station during their 27 hours of detention, thousands of party supporters were seen protesting outside the police station.
The BJP leaders demanded that either the government should take them to a court or procure paddy of farmers. They threatened that they would not budge an inch till the government concedes to their demand.
Sambalpur RDC asked them to wait 72 hours so that farmers’ problems can be solved after discussion with State Government.
“Lakhs of quintals of paddy are still kept in mandis here. The government is not in a situation to use it. Yesterday three MPs, eight MLAs and LOP leaders have been arrested. We are in contact with the authorities as well. This protest will continue till the government gives a solution to pick up the paddy in mandis,” said Suresh Pujhari, Member of Parliament, Bargad.
“We came here for the rally on Thursday. There is a need to pick up the paddy kept in mandis. We were peacefully conducting the rally. The government should have sent to ask why are we here,” said Pradeepta Kumar Nayak, Leader of Opposition, BJP. (ANI)
Tejashwi to meet Jharkhand CM as Lalu Yadav’s health condition becomes serious
Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], January 23 (ANI): Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav has said that he will be meeting Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Saturday as his ailing father and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s situation is serious and his family wants better treatment for him.
“Our family wants better treatment for him (Lalu Prasad Yadav) but it is for doctors to analyse what treatments can be provided here, after all the test reports come. His situation is serious, I will meet the Chief Minister tomorrow (Saturday),” said Tejashwi Yadav while speaking to the reporters here.
“He has already undergone heart surgery earlier and only 25 per cent of his kidney is functional. He has also been diagnosed with pneumonia. He is facing difficulty while breathing,” he added.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharti and sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav left from Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi after visiting him today.
The former Chief Minister who is admitted here has an infection in the lungs and his condition is stable, a senior doctor said on Thursday.
“Lalu Prasad Yadav is stable. There’s an infection in the lungs. Treatment is going on. This is a kind of pneumonia. We have consulted with the HOD of lungs dept of AIIMS. Rapid antigen test for COVID-19 is negative. RT-PCR report will come on Friday,” he said.
Lalu Prasad’s son Tejaswi Yadav, who is the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, spoke to Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta and Chief Minister Hemant Soren regarding his health.
Dr Umesh Prasad, the physician of the jailed RJD chief, had said last month that his kidney was functioning at 25 per cent capacity and the situation can deteriorate.
Lalu Prasad has been convicted in the fodder scam cases. (ANI)
Amit Shah arrives in Guwahati, to hold public meetings on Jan 24
Guwahati (Assam) [India], January 23 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Guwahati in the early hours of Saturday.
Shah, on January 24, will hold two public meetings in Assam, which is scheduled to go to the polls later this year. In Assam’s Kokrajhar, he will hold a meeting of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).
Later, he will address a public meeting organised by the BJP in Nalbari.
BJP Vice President and party in-charge of Assam, Baijayant Jay Panda, is currently camping in Assam and looking after the preparations for Shah’s rally.
“The Home Minister will be visiting Assam for the second time in less than a month. Besides government programmes, including a meeting of the Bodoland Tribal Council area, he will also be reviewing the political situation and addressing a public rally organised by BJP at Nalbari,” Panda told ANI.
During Shah’s last visit to Assam, several Congress MLAs joined the BJP.
The term of the 126-member Assam Assembly is ending on 31 May 2021. (ANI)
Amid speculations of his joining Left front, KV Thomas to meet AICC team
By Hari Mohan
Kochi (Kerala) [India], January 23 (ANI): Amid speculations that senior Congress leader and former Union Minister KV Thomas would join the Left front, he revealed he spoke to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and would meet the All India Congress Committee (AICC) team headed by Ashok Gehlot who is in Kerala on Saturday.
Speaking to ANI he said, “Sonia Gandhi called me and asked to meet the AICC team deputed by High Command in Kerala. I will go to Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday (today) and will meet them.”
He said he was called by senior Congress leaders from Kerala, Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, in the evening. “They also asked me to meet the AICC team,” he added.
He further said, “I have so much respect and gratitude for Sonia Gandhi. I will obey any instruction from her without any complaint. I have never said no to her so far and won’t say in the future as well.”
Regarding the alleged ‘rift’ with the Congress party, he said that he had not demanded any post in the party or any seat in the upcoming assembly polls.
“But I didn’t get any role in the local body polls. I recommended just one person’s name for a seat in the local body polls. That was rejected,” said the senior Congress leader.
The revelation comes after he cancelled a press meet scheduled tomorrow, in which he had said that he would make his future plans clear. In the last Lok Sabha polls, Thomas was not given any seat to contest, on which he had then openly expressed his displeasure. (ANI)
Telangana introduces 10 pc quota for economically weaker sections
Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], January 23 (ANI): Telangana IT and Municipal Minister KTR on Friday said that a 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker section is being introduced while the current reservation will be as usual.
Officials met IT minister KT Rama Rao and minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan yesterday. Errabelli has been felicitated for his decision of making the economic backward category get 10 per cent reservation in public sector jobs and education.
The officials felicitated minister KTR and he expressed his happiness. KTR said, “The government’s goal is to create opportunities for everyone in society.”
He said that if equal opportunities are provided, there will be equality in society. The CM has decided to provide 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker sections for achieving social harmony.
“Reservations would remain the same at present. He said the reservations would be extended to Vaishya Reddy, Velam, Kamma, Brahmin, Marwari Jain, Muslim minorities like Syed and Khan,” said KTR.
“10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections is being introduced and the current reservation will be as usual. According to the family survey conducted in 2025, there are 10 per cent SCs, 12 per cent STs, 51 per cent BCs, and 22 per cent others in the State. We provided 24 hours electricity to farmers and introduced Rhythu Bandhu scheme. Kalyana Lakshmi, Shadi Mubarak, KCR kits and many such developmental schemes have been introduced. That is the reason the KCR’s government is a government with a heart. CM’s aim is to see everyone happy and he should be one of them. They introduced several schemes which give support starting from before birth to after death,” he added. (ANI)
Fire breaks out in Delhi’s Uttam Nagar area, fire tenders at spot
New Delhi [India], January 23 (ANI): A fire broke out at an automobile workshop in Uttam Nagar area’s Main Rajapuri Road on Friday.
At least 15 fire tenders have reached the spot and are engaged in firefighting operations here.
Further details are awaited. (ANI)
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