Vadodara (Gujarat) [India], February 23 (ANI): Counting of votes polled in elections to six municipal corporations of Gujarat that were held on Sunday, will start at 9 am on Tuesday.
District Collector Shalini Agarwal during a press conference on Monday said: “We are following the COVID-19 protocol and proper security arrangements have been taken place at the eight-strong rooms. The counting of votes will begin at 9 am tomorrow.”
The six civic bodies – Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar – were being ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The State Election Commission (SEC) has said an average 46.08 per cent turnout was registered during voting which was held between 7 AM and 6 PM on Sunday.
Ahmedabad recorded the lowest turnout of 42.51 per cent, while Jamnagar saw the highest turnout of 53.38 per cent, followed by 50.72 per cent in Rajkot, 49.46 per cent in Bhavnagar, 47.84 per cent in Vadodara and 47.14 per cent in Surat. Of the total 1.14 crore voters registered in these major cities of Gujarat, 52.83 lakh had cast their ballots, the SEC said in a release.
Elections to 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats are scheduled on February 28.
“The results for six municipal corporations will be declared on February 23, while results of 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats results are scheduled to be declared on March 2,” the SEC had said.
The Union Home Minister cast his vote at Naranpura Sub Zonal Office in Ahmedabad, along with his family members on Sunday. He also expressed confidence that the people of the state will establish Gujarat as the stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). (ANI)
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BJP MP’s son gets himself shot by brother-in-law to implicate people: Lucknow Police Commissioner
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 3 (ANI): Ayush (30), the son of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kaushal Kishore, who was allegedly shot last night in Lucknow had asked his brother-in-law Adarsh to fire upon him to implicate some people, said a senior officer of Uttar Pradesh Police.
The Lucknow Police Commissioner DK Thakur said that Adarsh has been detained and a pistol has been recovered from his house.
“At midnight around 2:10 am, some three-four unidentified persons fired gunshots at BJP MP Kaushal Kishore’s son Ayush. During the incident, his brother-in-law Adarsh was also with him. Police started the investigation and found Adarsh’s activities suspicious after looking at the CCTV footage of the incident. We spoke to people at the spot. On search, we recovered a pistol from his (Adarsh’s) house which smelled afresh,” Thakur told ANI.
“We interrogated Adarsh and he accepted his role in the incident. Adarsh confessed he fired gunshots but it was his brother-in-law who asked him and was repeatedly persuaded by Ayush to commit the crime. Why the incident happened or was staged is yet to be probed. Adarsh is at home now and his health condition is fine now,” he added.
Lucknow Police Commissioner further stated that Adarsh also said that Ayush wanted to implicate some people.
“Adarsh, brother-in-law took 2-3 names whom Ayush wanted to implicate in the crime. We will reveal the reason behind the incident after asking MP’s son. We have found that he (Ayush) had married a girl from another caste and possibly his father (MP) didn’t accept the marriage. They have been living separately, but the reason not confirmed,” he said.
Police Commissioner further stated that it is yet to be investigated if the marriage was the reason behind the incident. “Only Ayush would be able to reveal why he planned this incident,” Commissioner said.
Kaushal Kishore, Lok Sabha MP from Mohanlalganj said, “My son Ayush rang me up around 2 am and said that he was shot at. He also said that he had gone out with his brother-in-law when the incident happened. If Ayush’s brother-in-law shot at him, then, Ayush should have shared it. The police is investigating the matter. I have not registered an FIR yet.”
After being shot last night in the Madiyava area of Lucknow, the Police admitted Ayush to the trauma centre for treatment where has was declared out of danger. He has returned to his home now. (ANI)
Delhi court grants bail to ‘interstate illegal firearms supplier’ in Arms recovery case
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Delhi’s Patiala House Court has granted bail to a person who is accused of being an “interstate illegal firearms supplier” in an Arms recovery case.
The court on Tuesday while granting bail, said, “In view of the facts and circumstances that since the accused is in Judicial Custody since November 29, 2020, and recovery has already been done from him, no purpose shall be served to put him behind the bars any further. Accordingly accused Sabir is accorded bail with a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh.”
The court while granting bail has also imposed several conditions including the one that he shall not leave the country without the permission of the court.
Advocate Harpreet Singh Hora appeared for the accused and stated that he has been in custody and according to the Police, the recovery has already been made. It was also argued that he has been implicated in the case falsely by the prosecution. Hora also rebutted the claim of the Police that the accused is procuring arms from other states to supply in Delhi and stated that the said allegation by the police is false.
In November 2020, the Special Cell of Delhi Police had claimed that three arms suppliers with several semi-automatic weapons of .32 bore were arrested.
According to the police, the arrested accused persons had been involved in supplying illegal firearms including pistols and guns in Delhi NCR, Haryana, Rajasthan, MP and UP West for the last 6-7 years.
Sabir, a truck driver, used to receive the supply of semi-automatic pistols from Madhya Pradesh as per directions of another accused, police had said.
Members of this syndicate had been involved in arms trafficking on a big scale in Rajasthan, Haryana, UP, MP and Delhi NCR, police added. (ANI)
Second biggest focus is on education after reforms in health, says PM Modi
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday stressed on the need to reform the education sector by including skill development, research and innovation for a ‘self-reliant India’.
“To build Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the youth of the country needs self-confidence which is directly connected to their education, knowledge and skill. The new National Education Policy has been developed with this key thought,” he said while addressing a webinar on the implementation of Union Budget 2021 in the education sector.
“The second biggest focus after health in this year’s Budget is on education, skill, research and innovation,” PM Modi said.
Elaborating on the steps being taken by the Central Government during this year’s Budget for the education sector, he said, “For building an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, it is important that the youth have self-confidence. Self-confidence comes when youth has faith in their education, skills and knowledge.”
Prime Minister also underlined the need to use the talents of anyone across India and said, “it is very important to come out of the linguistic barrier to make it possible.”
The Prime Minister had discussed the impact of educational policies, research activities and skill development efforts undertaken by the government and educational institutions on the centre’s scheme named ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’. (ANI)
Government notifies amendments to Insurance Ombudsman Rules 2017
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The Central Government on Tuesday notified comprehensive amendments to the Insurance Ombudsman Rules 2017, with a view to improving the working of the Insurance Ombudsman mechanism to facilitate the resolution of complaints regarding deficiencies in insurance services in a timely, cost-effective and impartial manner.
“The amended rules have enlarged the scope of complaints to Ombudsmen from only disputes earlier to deficiencies in service on the part of insurers, agents, brokers and other intermediaries. Further, insurance brokers have been brought within the ambit of the Ombudsman mechanism, by empowering the Ombudsmen to pass awards against insurance brokers as well,” the Union Ministry of Finance said in a press statement on Wednesday.
“Under the amended rules, the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of the mechanism have been substantially strengthened. Policyholders will now be enabled for making complaints electronically to the Ombudsman and a complaints management system will be created to enable policyholders to track the status of their complaints online. Further, the Ombudsman may use video-conferencing for hearings,” it stated.
“To enable access to relief through the Ombudsman mechanism even when there is a vacancy in the office of a particular Ombudsman, provision has been made for giving additional charge to another Ombudsman, pending the filling of the vacancy,” added the statement.
It further said that a number of amendments have been made for securing the independence and integrity of the Ombudsman selection process, while also building safeguards to secure the independence and impartiality of the appointed persons while serving as Ombudsmen. Further, the selection committee will now include an individual with a track record of promoting consumer rights or advancing the cause of consumer protection in the insurance sector.
The Ombudsman mechanism was administered by the Executive Council of Insurers, which has been renamed as the Council for Insurance Ombudsmen. (ANI)
Dilip Ghosh dismisses speculation of Sourav Ganguly joining BJP
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 3 (ANI): Ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday dismissed speculations of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly joining the party, saying he had no idea about it and it had not been discussed.
“I have no idea about it, nor has there been any discussion in the meeting,” Ghosh told reporters when asked.
This comes amid media reports that Ganguly is likely to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on March 7.
The state party chief also said the core committee of the party will soon declare names of the candidates for the first and second phase of elections in West Bengal.
“Core committee has discussed candidates for the first and second phase of the election here in West Bengal. It will soon declare the names,” he said, adding that they also reviewed the upcoming election rallies in the state.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray. (ANI)
Unemployment is high, informal sector in shambles due to demonetisation : Former PM Manmohan Singh
Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], March 3 (ANI): Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attacked Central Government over the rising unemployment and the prevailing crisis in the informal sector following the “ill-conceived demonetisation decision”
“Temporary measures by the Government of India and Reserve Bank to paper over the credit problems can not blind us to the looming credit crisis ahead that could affect the small and medium sector. Unemployment is high and the informal sector is in shambles – A crisis precipitated by the ill-considered demonetisation decision taken in 2016,” he said.
While speaking at ‘Pratheeksha 2030’ organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development in Thiruvanathapuram, the former Prime Minister further attributed the low employment and informal sector crisis to the ‘ill-considered demonetisation.
Criticising the Union Government for not holding regular consultations with the states, Former PM Manmohan Singh further said that public finances in Kerala and other states were in disarray and many had to resort to excessive borrowing, creating an intolerable burden on future budgets.
“Federalism and regular consultation with states, which was the cornerstone of India’s economic and political philosophy, no longer finds favour with the present Central Government. In the midst of all the gloom, I see the United Democratic Front’s (UDF) steadfast adherence to planned growth with a clear sense of direction and concern of the common man a beacon of hope, not only for Kerala but for the entire country,” he added.
He further lauded the efforts of the state’s Congress leaders for planning a framework for the UDF government when they are voted to power and hoped that the main idea is focussed on the welfare of the common man.
“I am glad to see that UDF manifesto draft presented to the people for public response contains such radical ideas as NYAY – a scheme outlined in the Congress’ national manifesto in 2019 which will provide direct benefit transfer to the poorest people,” he added. (ANI)
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