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Domicile law illegal, unconstitutional: Farooq Abdullah

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Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said that the domicile law is both “unconstitutional” and “illegal”.

Speaking to reporters in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, he said he is going to oppose anything that is unconstitutional. “We are united against everything they have done, it is illegal, unconstitutional. How do you think I am going to accept something what is unconstitutional,” he said.

On the ongoing current standoff between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, Abdullah said that war is no solution to resolve the disputes between the countries. “India-China or India-Pakistan, the only future is talks, war is not a solution,” he emphasised.

Abdullah along with two other former chief ministers — his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — were detained after the abrogation of Article 370 on 5 August 2019. The Public Safety Act was slapped on all three of them. His PSA was revoked and he was released in March this year.

 “God has given me the strength that I needed in these eight months that I stayed in,” he said.

With agency inputs

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NAIDU BLAMES GOVT FOR POLICE ATTACK ON CHITTOOR EX-MAYOR

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Telugu Desam Party (TDP) National President and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu condemned the police attack on Chittoor ex-mayor Kathari Hemalatha and blamed the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP)-led government for it on Friday.

The TDP leader said that police officers were degrading themselves to win favours from the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy rule. What message were they sending by harassing witnesses in the mayor couple’s murder in Chittoor and by filing false cases against them? He questioned whether the police were trying to save the culprits?

Naidu alleged that when ex-Mayor Hemalatha went to stop the police’s highhandedness, they did not hesitate to run the police jeep on her.

Attacking the state chief minister, Naidu said, “With what confidence, the police were resorting to such atrocious activities? The government-sponsored attacks are highly condemnable.”

He further warned that the TDP would not spare the police officers who were committing serious offences by turning into the ruling YSRCP activists.

Meanwhile, TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh in a separate statement said, “TDP party would fight a legal battle on behalf of the victimised TDP leaders.” After coming to power, the TDP would take all the necessary action against all the errant officers, he said. “The police must explain whether they were living with the salaries taken from the public or just the private army, run by the Reddy’s mafia,” Lokesh said.

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WE WILL DEFEAT THIS, MVA TO BACK THACKERAY: PAWAR

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 Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar on Thursday said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP will back Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who is facing rebellion from his own party MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, leading to uncertainty over the future of MVA government.

Addressing a press conference here, Pawar, who was credited for stitching the MVA alliance after the 2019 state Assembly elections, said that the current political situation will change once rebel Shiv Sena MLAs return to Mumbai. «MVA decided to back CM Uddhav Thackeray. I believe once the (Shiv Sena) MLAs return to Mumbai the situation will change,» he said.

«Everyone knows how the rebel Sena MLAs were taken to Gujarat and then Assam. We don›t have to take the names of all those assisting them… Assam government is helping them. I don›t need to take any names further,» the NCP chief said.

Pawar expressed confidence in overcoming this crisis and said the government under the leadership of Thackeray will run smoothly.

«We have seen such situations in Maharashtra several times. With my experience, I can say that we will defeat this crisis, and the government under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray will run smoothly,» he said.

«Maharashtra government is in minority or not has to be established in Vidhan Sabha. When procedures will be followed, then it will be proved that this government is in majority,» he added.

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Union Minister is threatening Pawar, alleges Raut

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Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Friday alleged that a Union Minister is threatening Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and questioned whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah support such threats. “Threats are being given to Sharad Pawar by a Central minister. Do such threats have the support of PM Modi and Amit Shah?” he said.Seeking the intervention of the two leaders in the threat case, Raut added, “Some people are threatening us. Some people are threatening Pawar Sahib not to go home. This is a matter of concern. Home Minister and PM Modi should pay attention to this,” he added.The Shiv Sena MP’s allegation came in the aftermath of BJP leader Narayan Rane’s tweets accusing Pawar of threatening rebel Sena MLAs. In a tweet put out in Marathi, Rane said, “Pawar is threatening the (rebel) MLAs that they should come to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. They will definitely come and vote as per their will. If any harm comes to them, it will be difficult to go home.”Reacting to the tweet, Raut had earlier said that the use of such language against the NCP chief is not acceptable. “A central minister of the BJP has said that if attempts are made to save MVA govt, then Pawar will not be allowed to go home. Whether or not the MVA government survives, use of such language for him is not acceptable.”Along the same lines, Raut issued a warning to Ekanth Shinde-led rebel MLAs and said Sena workers will come on the roads if challenged. “Shinde faction that is challenging us must realise that Sena workers are yet to come on the roads. Such battles are fought either through law or on the roads. If need be then our workers would come on the roads,” said the Sena leader, adding “Sena is a big ocean. Such waves come and go.”

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MAHARASHTRA TUSSLE CONTINUES AS SHINDE CHALLENGES THACKERAY

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reaffirmed his will to fight, while rebel leader Eknath Shinde stood unafraid as the numbers game seemed to be in favour of his group.

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DID EVERYTHING FOR SHINDE: UDDHAV

A mid the political turbulence in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that rebel Shiv Sena MLAs who are camping in Guwahati want to “break the party” on Friday.  As Eknath Shinde appears to be tightening his grip on Shiv Sena with the number of rebels rising to 38, Thackeray called a meeting of the party›s district chiefs on Friday where he said that he left the Varsha Bungalow but not the «will to fight». «I have said earlier also that I don›t have anything to do with power. The people who used to say that they would rather die than leave Shiv Sena have fled today,» the Shiv Sena chief said during his virtual address at the meeting.  “The rebel MLAs want to break the party. I had never thought in dreams that I would become the chief minister. I have left Varsha Bungalow but not the will to fight,» he added.  Targetting Shinde, Thackeray said that he did everything for the rebel leader and yet a lot of allegations are levelled against him.  Notably, Thackeray had vacated the official residence of the CM on Wednesday night and moved to his family residence ‘Matoshree› along with his family. He said, «I did everything for Shinde. I gave him the department which I held. His own son is an MP and comments are being made regarding my son. A lot of allegations are levelled against me. If they have courage, they should go among people without taking Balasaheb and Shiv Sena›s names.»  Thackeray, who underwent a cervical spine surgery last year, said, «I had pain in my neck and head, I was not able to work properly, I could not open my eyes but I did not care about it. Shivaji Maharaj was defeated but people were always with him.

CANNOT SCARE US: SHINDE

Rebel leader Eknath Shinde has hit back at the Shiv Sena after the party wrote to the Maharashtra Assembly deputy speaker seeking the disqualification of 12 rebel MLAs. Shinde tweeted, “You can’t scare us by giving the names of 12 MLAs for disqualification because we are followers of the Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. We know the law, so we do not pay heed to threats.” “We know your ways and the law too! According to Schedule 10 of the Constitution, the whip is used for assembly work, not for meetings,” he further tweeted. The Sena faction led by CM Uddhav Thackeray has filed a petition before the Deputy Speaker seeking the cancellation of membership of 12 rebel MLAs including Shinde for “not attending” legislative party meeting. Sena MP Arvind Sawant told ANI that a notice had been issued before the meeting which said that if an MLA does not attend the meeting, legal action will be taken. “We’ve filed a petition before the Deputy Speaker (of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly) and demanded that the membership of 12 (MLAs) should be cancelled as they didn’t attend the meeting,” said Sawant. “Before the meeting notice was issued in which it was said that if you didn’t attend the meeting then legal action will be taken as per the constitution. Some didn’t come and some gave unnecessary reasons,” he added. The petition has been filed by Ajay Choudhari, who was appointed “legislative party leader” after Shinde was “removed” from the post by the Sena. Sena’s Chief Whip, Sunil Prabhu had issued a letter to party MLAs, asking them to be present in the meeting. The letter stated that if someone remains absent, it will be considered that the said MLA has decided to quit the party voluntarily. The letter also warned that if any MLA remains absent from the meeting without proper reason and prior information, they should keep in mind that action will be initiated to cancel their membership as per constitutional provisions.But the Shinde camp has written to Maharashtra Governor stating that Shinde continues to be the legislative party leader.

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Shattering the glass ceiling: What makes Droupadi Murmu NDA’s best bet

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Born in a poor tribal family in the village of Mayurbhanj, Droupadi Murmu is the first woman tribal leader to file her nomination for the post of President. Her rise from a tribal leader to the governor of Jharkhand and now a presidential nominee serves as an inspiration to many young girls. If elected, she will become the first tribal President of India and the country’s second female President.

Since her childhood, Murmu has been shattering several glass ceilings and converting her challenges into opportunities. Hailing from a backward district in Odisha, Mrumu completed her studies despite challenging circumstances. She taught at Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, Rairangpur and pursued BA at Ramadevi Women’s College Bhubaneswar. She ventured into politics as the vice-chairman of the Rairangpur NAC and was a member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly from Rairangpur between 2000 and 2004. As a minister, she held various challenging portfolios, including Transport and Commerce, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. Prior to this, she had served as a junior assistant in the irrigation and power department.  In 1997, Murmu was vice president of state ST morcha and served as the chief of BJP’s ST morcha between 2006 and 2009. Post which, she served as the national executive member of BJP’s ST morcha from 2013 to 2015. She was also the BJP district chief of Mayurbhanj (West) in 2010 and 2013.  She served as Jharkhand Governor from 2015 to 2021. With the countdown kickstarting for presidential polls on July 18, it will be worth a watch if NDA manages to hit the bull’s eye with another masterstroke after Ram Nath Kovind, who became the first Dalit president of the country.

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India sends essentials to crisis-ridden Sri Lanka

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India provided a humanitarian consignment worth more than SLR 3 billion to Sri Lanka, which is facing the worst economic crisis since its independence.

According to the High Commission of India in Colombo, the consignment comprises rice, milk powder and essential medicines. “From the people of #India to the people of #SriLanka!!! High Commissioner, Hon’ble Ministers @Keheliya_R, Nalin Fernando, MPs, various dignitaries and officials welcomed a large humanitarian consignment worth more than SLR 3 billion from #Tuticorn today. The 15,000 MT consignment consists of rice, milk powder and essential medicines,” the High Commission said in a tweet.

India was among the first few countries to extend its aid to Sri Lanka to mitigate the unprecedented economic crisis. New Delhi has provided a concessional loan of USD 1 billion to Sri Lanka for the supply of food, fuel, medicines, and other essential items.

In May, the food inflation in Sri Lanka stood at 57.4 per cent, while shortages of key food items, as well as fuel for cooking, transport, and industry, remain widespread, with ongoing daily power outages.

The economy is bracing for a sharp contraction due to the unavailability of basic inputs for production, an 80 per cent depreciation of the currency (since March 2022), coupled with a lack of foreign reserves and the country’s failure to meet its international debt obligations.

The high-level Indian delegation led by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra visited Sri Lanka recently and underscored that the recent economic, financial and humanitarian assistance of over USD 3.5 billion to the island country was guided by New Delhi’s “Neighbourhood First” Policy.

The delegation comprising Ajay Seth, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, V Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor and Kartik Pande, Joint Secretary, Indian Ocean Region, Ministry of External Affairs was in Colombo on Thursday.

The delegation had meetings with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during the visit. The talks between the two sides were held in a frank, cordial and constructive manner, the High Commission of India Colombo said in a statement. Both sides had a productive exchange of views on the current economic situation in Sri Lanka as well as India’s ongoing support.

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