Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mega Cabinet reshuffle, the first in his second term, is all set to take place between 5.30 pm and 6 pm on Wednesday, top party sources told The Daily Guardian. They added that the new Cabinet will have greater representation from Dalits, OBCs, women and youth.
Sources emphasised that the Dalit community and youth will have a record representation in the new Cabinet. Also, keeping in mind the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the state is likely to get extra attention, and special care has been taken to represent major communities and regions of the state.
A meeting of the Union Cabinet has been called at 11 am on Wednesday to deliberate on the expansion.
Potential ministers have already reached or are in the process of reaching Delhi. BJP’s national organisation general secretary B.L. Santosh called potential ministers and asked them to reach the national capital.
Even before the expansion of the Cabinet, the process in Delhi has intensified and the names of the potential ministers are becoming clear. Sources say that while the BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, has got a call from the central leadership to come to Delhi, Narayana Rane from Maharashtra and Sarbananda Sonowal from Assam have already reached the national capital.
Chirag Paswan’s uncle Pashupati Paras, who divided the LJP, is also believed to be gearing up for a new role. Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (United) has demanded that it should want 4 of its ministers in the Cabinet. JD-U president R.C.P. Singh and Nitish Kumar had a meeting on this issue a day ago. Now Nitish Kumar has sent Singh to Delhi so that he can talk to the BJP central leadership about increasing the quota.
At present 28 ministerial posts are vacant in the Cabinet and it is being said that about 20 MPs can be sworn in as ministers. According to sources, PM Modi has held meetings with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP organisation general secretary B.L. Santosh on Cabinet expansion for two days.
According to the JD-U, if the BJP, with 17 MPs in Bihar, has 5 ministers at the Centre, the JD-U, with 16 MPs, should at least get 4 ministerial posts. The party says that it needs 2 Cabinet ministers and 2 state ministers.
Interestingly, Union Minister Thawarchand Gehlot has been removed from the post of Social Justice Minister and made the Governor of Karnataka. Already, the Madhya Pradesh quota seat has been lying vacant in the Cabinet for the Scindia. Along with this, the way has also been cleared for three more leaders to become ministers. Many contenders have emerged for the Rajya Sabha seat vacated by Gehlot’s departure.
Meanwhile, Scindia visited the Mahakal temple in Ujjain on Tuesday morning. As soon as he came out of the temple, he got a call from the BJP central leadership. Soon after, he cancelled further programmes and left for Delhi.
LJP’s Pashupati Paras was seen busy shopping for kurtas in Patna. His name is also in the reckoning for the Modi Cabinet.
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Om Prakash Chautala moves Delhi HC challenging sentencing by trial court
Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has moved to the Delhi High Court challenging the order of a trial court which sent him to four years of imprisonment in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.
Advocate Harsh Sharma on Tuesday confirmed that the appeal has been moved to the High Court challenging a trial court order of conviction and order of sentence against Chautala. On 27 May, the Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi ordered four years of imprisonment to Chautala. The Court had also ordered to confiscate four properties of him and also imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh.
While passing the order, CBI Judge Vikas Dhull had also ordered to send Chautala in the custody of Tihar Jail.
During the argument, Chautala physically appeared and remained present in the courtroom. Appearing for Chautala, Advocate Harsh Sharma cited medical grounds for less punishment and submitted that “I, (OP Chautala), have been infected with polio since birth and I am partially disabled.”
CBI’s Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Gupta had opposed the submissions of Chautala’s lawyer for a grant of concession on the grounds of ill-health and age.
CBI had urged the court that “maximum punishment shall be given as it would send a message to the society.” “The person, in this case, is a public figure and giving minimum punishment would send a wrong message. He is not having clean antecedents. It is the second case, in which he has been convicted,” CBI said.
Special Judge (PC Act) Vikas Dhull on 21 May, convicted Chautala and said the accused had failed to satisfactorily account for such dis-proportionality by proving his source of income or means by way of which, he acquired assets during this period.
“Hence, accused Om Prakash Chautala is convicted for the offence under Section 13(1)(e) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Put up 26 May 2022 at 10.00 AM for arguments on the point of sentence,” said the court.
According to the CBI’s FIR, accused Chautala, while functioning as Chief Minister of Haryana during the period from 24 July 1999, to 5 March 2005, in collusion with his family members and others, accumulated assets, immovable and movable, disproportionate to his known lawful sources of income, in his name, in the names of his family members and others to the extent of Rs 1,467 crores.
The FIR further stated that the accused accumulated enormous wealth and invested the same throughout the country in the shape of thousands of acres of land, multi complexes, palatial residential houses, hotels, farmhouses, business agencies, petrol pumps and other investments apart from investments in foreign countries.
The FIR also stated that 43 immovable properties in all, apart from cash and jewellery were accumulated. Apart from 43 alleged properties listed in the FIR, additional properties were also suspected to be of the accused family.
An investigation with regard to additional properties was also conducted for ascertaining the link of the accused family with the said properties.
NEWLY INDUCTED PUNJAB MINISTERS: JOURAMAJRA GETS HEALTH, MAAN GETS TOURISM
Chetan Singh Jauramajra is the new Health Minister of Punjab after sacking Dr Vijay Singla out of cabinet due to the graft charges against him. All ministers got portfolios in Punjab Tuesday. The portfolios of some old ministers have also been changed. The total number of ministers including the Chief Minister, in the Punjab government, has now increased to 15. The new ministers include Aman Arora, who was elected MLA for the second time in Sunam, Dr Indervir Singh Nijjar, MLA from Amritsar South, MLA from Gurharsahai, Fauja Singh Sarri, MLA from Samana, Chetan Singh Jauramajra, and woman MLA from Kharad, Anmol Gagan Mann are included. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has congratulated all the new ministers who have joined the Punjab cabinet.
The AAP has reposed more confidence in the MLAs who won the elections for the first time. After Finance Minister Harpal Cheema and Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Aman Arora is the only minister who has won the election twice in a row. Whereas apart from CM Bhagwant Mann, 11 ministers have become MLAs for the first time.
WHO GOT WHICH DEPARTMENT
• Harpal Singh: Finance Planning, Program Implementation, Excise and Taxation
• Dr Baljit Kaur: Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities, Social Security, Women and Child Development
• Harbhajan Singh: Public Works, Power
• Lal Chand: Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Forests, Wildlife
• Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer: Governance Reforms, Printing and Stationery, Science Technology and Environment, Sports and Youth Services, Higher Education
• Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal: Rural Development, NRI Affairs, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
• Laljit Bhullar: Transport, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development
• Bram Shankar: Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management, Water Supply and Sanitation
• Harjot Singh Bains: Water Resources, Mines and Geology, Prisons, School
• Aman Arora: Department of Information and Public Relations, New and Renewable Energy Resources, Housing and Urban Development
• Dr Indervir Singh Nijjar: Local Bodies, Parliamentary Affairs, Conservation of Land and Water, Administrative Reforms
• Fauza Singh: Freedom Fighter, Defense Services Welfare, Food Processing, Horticulture
• Chetan Singh Jauramajra: Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education and Research, Elections
• Anmol Gagan Maan: Tourism and Culture Work, Investment Promotion, Labor
MANY ATTEMPTS MADE TO KILL MY SON: SIDHU MOOSEWALA’S FATHER
Sidhu Moosewala’s father Balkaur Singh revealed that 60 to 80 people were after his son’s life. Also, the government withdrew his security and publicised it.
Several attempts were made to attack Sidhu Moosewala during the Punjab assembly elections in April and the Aam Aadmi Party-led state “government too left no stone unturned” to curtail his security and “publicised” the withdrawal of his security, said Balkaur Singh, father of the Punjabi singer-politician.
“60 to 80 people were after him (Sidhu Moosewala) to kill him. Efforts were made at least eight more times during the elections to kill him. The government too left no stone unturned, withdrew his security and publicised it,” Balkaur Singh said on Monday. Moosewala, the 28-year-old singer, was gunned down near his village in Mansa on 29 May, a day after his security was scaled down by the newly formed Bhagwant Mann government.
“Gangsters are running a parallel government (in Punjab). Young men are dying. Vicky Middukhera’s revenge was taken, tomorrow someone will do it for Sidhu. But it is our houses being destroyed,” Singh said while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a road in Mansa district’s Burj Dalwa village.
The murder of Moosewala saw several arrests. Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, the mastermind in the case, is under police remand till 6 July. A special cell of the Delhi Police recently apprehended two most wanted criminals of the Lawrence Bishnoi-Goldy Brar Gang.
ADANI UNIVERSITY HOSTS GLOBAL EDUCATION FORUM
Adani University hosts Global Education Forum Focused on Educational Transformation and Global Sustainability in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. This was organised ahead of the academic year 2022-23 by the Global Education Forum – a platform to share ideas and initiatives.
It was themed on Educational Transformation and Global Sustainability. The forum brought together renowned national and international academicians and industry experts from diverse fields to deliberate on Education for Transformation and Transformation for Sustainability.
The forum was inaugurated by Dr Priti G. Adani, President, Adani University, with distinguished plenary speaker Padma Vibhushan, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Dr Victoria GalanMuros, Chief Research and Analysis, UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in America and the Caribbean, Dr Arun Sharma (Vice-Chancellor, Adani University) and Prof. Dr M. Muruganant (Provost, Adani University) in the presence of other eminent speakers and panellists, people from academia, industry, and students.
In his opening remarks Padma Vibhushan, Dr Anil Kakodkar said, “The development of new technology depends upon new knowledge created. So, research & development is the main engine in the knowledge era. Knowledge in action, a knowledge that delivers.” He added, “When we think about the sustainable goal, it is the university who shall play an important role in the strengthening human values to eliminate exploitation which has to go concurrent with technological empowerment. We should try to provide quality higher education accessible to all and is key to eliminating disparity.”
During her presidential address, Dr Priti G. Adani (President, Adani University) said, “For India to become a manufacturing hub at the intersection of global supply chains — very much in line with Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make for the World’ – the most important requirement will be the ability to educate and scale up its human capital to a new breed of professionals. Professionals who are resilient, entrepreneurial, and ready to thrive in a volatile and uncertain world. We strongly believe that the most important task of nation building is the development of human capital, and the establishment of Adani University provides us with a unique opportunity to do so.”
As a part of the forum wo separate panel discussions were organised, Education for Transformation and Transformation for Sustainability, where eminent speakers from academia and industry shared their insights. These discussions brought out essential parameters which are required for this transformation from industry-based education modules to sustainability-oriented education modules, transformation within the system through skilling, reskilling of faculty, and the innovative education system. Human values were also discussed as part of a transformation journey as to how first we need to be sustainable from within ourselves.
It also highlighted why the seed of sustainability needs to be nurtured at the cognitive level from childhood development.
INDIA WANTS BLINKEN TO HIGHLIGHT INDO-PACIFIC CONCERNS IN TALKS WITH WANG
Even as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi prepare to speak face-to-face in Bali on the sidelines of the G-20 Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM), India wants Blinken to highlight Washington’s concerns over China’s “growing aggressiveness” in the Indo-Pacific region. “Blinken should use the upcoming bilateral meeting with Wang in Bali to raise some key issues related to Chinese challenges in the Indo-Pacific,” sources said. Top sources told The Daily Guardian Review that India through diplomatic channels has apprised the US of what it expects in terms of the upcoming bilateral talks between Blinken and Wang.
“The message that the diplomats in Washington have shared with the Biden administration is that if Blinken refers to some of the issues pertaining to Chinese aggressive agenda, it will help mount pressure on Beijing,” sources said. “With Jaishankar set to give a strong message on the Indo-Pacific and LAC during his talks with Wang in Bali, Blinken’s tough talk on the same will add to pressure on Beijing,” sources added.
There is no denying Blinken will focus on Russia’s military operation against Ukraine and China’s close ties with Moscow. “But what India expects is that Blinken should not ignore the Indo-Pacific issues completely, as it will give a wrong message, with the US being a key member state of the QUAD,” says an official. Sources told TDGR that Jaishankar and Blinken will also meet on the sidelines of the G-20 FMM in Bali, during which China-specific issues will also come up.
The US seeks to dissuade Beijing from deepening ties with Moscow, and Blinken will pitch for it during the meeting with Wang Yi. However, China is not going to give Washington any good news on the same, sources said. Since this is going to be the first face-to-face between Blinken and Wang since last October, the meeting acquires tremendous significance. India will keep a close eye on this meeting, says a diplomat.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will pay a two-day visit to Indonesia beginning Thursday to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of the G20 countries. Foreign ministers of China and Russia are also likely to attend the meeting that is set to discuss pressing global challenges, including the food and energy security arising out of the Ukraine crisis. Announcing Jaishankar›s visit, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Tuesday that he is expected to hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other G20 member states.
The G20 is a leading grouping that brings together the world›s major economies. Its members account for more than 80 per cent of the global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet. Indonesia is holding the meeting in its capacity as its current chair. Italy held the G-20 Presidency in 2021 while Indonesia is playing the role in 2022 and India will assume the charge in 2023. Italy, Indonesia and India are the troika countries at present.
Fadnavis clears the air, says he chose Eknath Shinde
While making the revelation, Devendra Fadnavis admits that he was not mentally prepared for the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
Making an attempt to clear the confusion over the last-minute surprise by the BJP to make Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde as the chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, who is now the deputy of Shinde, said he had proposed to BJP leadership to make the rebel leader the new CM.
Fadnavis also admitted that he was not mentally prepared to assume the post of deputy chief minister, but changed his decision after a discussion was held with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and intervention by BJP president JP Nadda and Union home minister Amit Shah.
Fadnavis said that the BJP leadership believed that he should be part of the government as it was not right to run the government through an “extra-constitutional authority”.
Talking to reporters in Nagpur, Fadnavis said the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance had won the 2019 elections, but the mandate was “stolen”. So his party and the Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction came together for a “common ideology and not for power”.
“Our leaders Narendra Modi ji, Amit Shah and JP Nadda ji, and with my approval (the decision to make Shinde the chief minister was taken)…. It will not be wrong if it is said that I took this proposal (to the BJP leadership) that Shinde is made the chief minister and they (the leadership) accepted it,” Fadnavis said.
Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister on June 30 with Fadnavis as his deputy, a day after Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the CM ahead of the floor test.
“It was also decided that I will stay out of the government. But BJP president JP Nadda called me and said the party has decided to make me the deputy chief minister. Even Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to me,” Fadnavis said. “I changed my decision obeying the orders of my leaders,” he added.
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