Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said guidelines under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) need more flexibility based on individual needs and circumstances of every state and he has requested the Central government to consider revising them accordingly.
Speaking at the inauguration of the construction of a road under the PMGSY in Nilambur area of Malappuram district of Kerala, the Congress MP said that he has written a letter to the Union Minister of Road Transport to consider revising the guidelines.
“I am hopeful they will consider it favourably,” he said and added that he has given a list of 11 roads for being included under PMGSY for maintenance and upgradation. Besides the inauguration of the road construction, Gandhi also participated in a key handover ceremony in Nilambur in connection with a house built there by Samskarika Sahiti, a wing of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), for a woman who was allegedly denied a house under the Life Mission of the state government after she lost her home to floods.
Gandhi alleged at the event that a house under Life Mission was denied to the woman, despite being eligible for it, due to her political ideology and support to the Congress party. The Wayanad MP, thereafter, flagged off several trauma care ambulances from the Wandoor area of Malappuram.
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FREEBIES SERIOUS ISSUE, MONEY MUST BE SPENT ON INFRASTRUCTURE: SC
The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that freebies that political parties dole out in the run-up to elections to lure voters are a serious issue. Saying that there were two sections, the apex court observed that one who supported the freebies and the other who would like the money spent on freebies to be spent on development.
“Those who are getting they want it as ours is a welfare state. Some may say that they are paying taxes and it (the money) has to be used for developmental process. So it is a serious issue. So both sides have to be heard by committee,” said Chief Justice of India
NV Ramana, while hearing a PIL challenging the culture of freebies.
Ramanna also observed that the Central government also runs schemes to feed the hungry and though “economy is losing money”, it is pertinent that “people’s welfare has to be balanced”.
The Election Commission on Wednesday filed an affidavit which supported the Supreme Court’s suggestions to set up an expert committee to examine regulatory measures on freebies announced by political parties ahead of elections. The electoral watchdog, however, refused to be part of the expert body.
“It may not be appropriate for the Commission, being the constitutional authority, to offer to be part of the expert committee especially if there are (representation from) ministries or government bodies in the expert committee. Further, there are continuous elections in the country and any opinion/view/comment during deliberations in a multi-member body might, in the event of being publicised, amount to pre-decide the issue and disturb the level playing field,” the Election Commission said in the affidavit.
The top court was hearing a public interest petition filed by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay in January this year pleading that promise or distribution of irrational freebies from public funds before elections could unduly influence the voters, shake the roots of a free and fair election and disturb the level-playing field, besides vitiating the purity of the election process. “Direct and declare that promise/distribution of irrational freebies from the public fund before an election to lure voters is analogous to the bribery and undue influence under Section 171B and Section 171C of the IPC,” the petition observed. The petition seek a ban on political parties promising ‘freebies’ during election time. The petition also seeks steps to regulate poll manifesto and make political outfits accountable for promises they make therein.
The Supreme Court had on 3 August suggested that an apex body comprising the NITI Aayog, the Finance Commission, ruling and opposition parties, the RBI and other stakeholders was required to make recommendations on how to manage freebies distributed by political parties during election campaigns.
The court will next hear the plea on August 17.
French Rafale jets stop over in India during Indo-Pacific deployment
A French air and space force contingent, including three Rafale jets, was hosted in India during an Indo-Pacific deployment on Wednesday, a statement issued by the French Embassy in New Delhi said.
The contingent, which was en route to New Caledonia, was hosted for a technical stopover at the Air Force Station in Sulur town in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district on August 10-11 during a long-distance deployment from metropolitan France to the Pacific Ocean.
“From 10th August to 18th September, the French Air and Space Force is carrying out a major long-range mission in the Indo-Pacific, code-named Pegase 22. The first stage of this mission aims to demonstrate France’s capacity for long-distance air power projection by deploying an Air Force contingent from metropolitan France to the French territory of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean in less than 72 hours (10th–12th August). To achieve this unprecedented 16,600-km deployment, the Air Force contingent made a technical stopover in India, at Air Force Station Sulur,” the statement read.
The contingent, which comprises three Rafale jets and support aircraft, landed at Air Force Station Sulur on Wednesday evening and flew out in the early hours of Thursday after refuelling, as per the French Embassy.
“The operation demonstrated a high level of mutual trust and interoperability between the French and Indian Air Forces, which has been further boosted by the fact that both air forces now fly Rafale jets. It also illustrated the concrete implementation of the reciprocal logistics support agreement signed by France and India in 2018,” the statement read further.
Lauding the IAF’s role in this successful operation, the Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain, said: “France is a resident power of the Indo-Pacific, and this ambitious long-distance air power projection demonstrates our commitment to the region and our partners. It is only natural that to carry out this mission, we rely on India, our foremost strategic partner in Asia. My heartfelt thanks to the Indian Air Force for welcoming the French contingent.”
In the following stages of Mission Pegase 22, the French Air Force contingent will take part in the “Pitch Black” air exercise taking place in Australia from 17th August to 10th September. The Indian Air Force will also participate in this multilateral drill, along with Australia, Japan, the United States, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and South Korea.
Mission Pegase 22 is a powerful demonstration of France’s capacity for quick deployment in the Indo-Pacific. The mission is also proof that the security situation in Europe has not diminished the French and European commitments in the Indo-Pacific. In this respect, it also aims to strengthen ties with key strategic partners, such as India, and underline France’s support for security and stability in the region.
India and France have traditionally had close and friendly relations. In 1998, the two countries entered into a Strategic Partnership, which is emblematic of their convergence of views on a range of international issues apart from a close and growing bilateral relationship.
FIDAYEEN ATTACK ON ARMY POST IN RAJOURI, FOUR JAWANS KILLED
Two terrorists who attacked the army post in Parghal are killed in retaliatory fire.
Four Indian Army soldiers, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), were killed and one other injured, when two fidayeen tried to enter an army post in Parghal area of Darhal in Rajouri district. The terrorists attacked the post in early hours of the day. However, alert soldiers neutralised the two suicide attackers in retaliatory fire.
“In the early hours of 11 Aug 2022, alert sentries of the Indian Army post at Parghal, District Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir detected some suspicious persons approaching their post taking advantage of the inclement weather and dense foliage. The sentries challenged the two terrorists who threw grenades while attempting to gain entry inside the post.
However alert troops cordoned the area and engaged them in a firefight thereby pinning them. In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were neutralised,” Army PRO Lt Col Devender Anand informed the reporters here.
Out of six soldiers who were injured while repulsing the suicide attack by terrorists four succumbed to their injuries.
The soldiers killed in the attack are Subedar Rajendra Prasad of Maligoven village in Jhunjhunu and Riflemen Lakshmanan D of T Pudupatti village in Madurai, Manoj Kumar of Shahjahanpur village in Faridabad and Nishant Malik of Adarsh Nagar in Hisar.
Special Operation Groups of the police were immediately sent to cordon off the area. The police and army were already on high alert after intelligence inputs regarding the movement of two suspects in Darhal area. Mukesh Singh, Additional Director General of Police, Jammu, said, “As reported by 11 Raj Rifles, someone tried to cross the fence of the army camp at Parghal. Sentry challenged and an exchange of fire took place. Additional parties dispatched for the location which is around 6 km from police station Darhal.”
According to sources, the two terrorists came from South Kashmir and were camping in Darhal for the past few days. CCTV cameras installed in shops of the Darhal market captured the movements of these terrorists carrying guns.
Sources said that the terrorists were armed with AK series rifles, grenades and other arms and ammunitions, which could hold them longer against a retaliatory fire by security forces.
They were also carrying thousands of rupees in Indian currency. Wire cutter to cut fence to sneak into the army operational base and knives for close attack on army jawans were also recovered from the terrorists killed in the operation.
Notably, the attack comes a day after three LeT terrorists were neutralised by security forces in Budgam. One of the killed terrorists was involved in the killing of civilians Rahul Bhat and Amreen Bhat.
Noida Assault Case: UP Court rejects Shrikant Tyagi’s bail plea
Uttar Pradesh court rejected the bail plea of Shrikant Tyagi on Thursday for assaulting and abusing a woman.
Uttar Pradesh police arrested Tyagi on Tuesday near Noida. In a viral video, Tyagi was seen assaulting and abusing a woman at Grand Omaxe in Noida’s Sector 93.
Earlier on Monday, the police recovered his luxury vehicles and bulldozed his residence in the society. The Noida administration began the demolition of illegal construction at the Grand Omaxe, Noida. After this, the people of society were seen distributing sweets amongst themselves.
The FIR was lodged against Tyagi after a group of his supporters entered the society and started shouting slogans. The Gangster Act against Tyagi had also been invoked by the police.
“A separate FIR under IPC sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), and 482 (punishment for using a false property mark) has been registered against the accused in light of the Fortuner car recovered from the society premises on Saturday,” Additional DCP Ranvijay Singh said.
Earlier speaking to media persons Tyagi said, “I express my regret on the incident. She is like my sister, the incident is political and was done to decimate me.”
Meanwhile, the Noida Police said that Tyagi was using an MLA sticker on his car and was given by UP MLC Swami Prasad Maurya.
However, Srikant Tyagi claims to be a member of Bharatiya Janata Party Kishan Morcha. He has been accused of allegedly abusing and pushing a woman during an argument of Grand Omaxe society. The video of the said incident occurred on 5 August.
2 die, 6 others injured in communal clash in Karnataka’s Koppal
A clash broke out between two communities in which two people died and six others were injured. The incident took place at the Hulihyder village of Koppal district in Karnataka.
On the occasion of Muharram, a Hindu boy went to meet a Muslim girl, following which an argument broke out between the two sections.
The two people who lost their lives were identified as Pasha Walli (22) and Yenakappa Talavad (60). In the alleged communal clash two people succumbed to their injuries and died in the hospital.
Meanwhile, after this people from both communities joined them and started beating each other. So far, eight people were injured in the clash.
Moreover, in the area, the local administration has imposed Section 144.
However, further investigation into the matter is underway.
Income Tax raids in Maharashtra; Rs 390 crores assets seized
The Income Tax Department raided the premises of a textile trader, steel, and real estate developer in Maharashtra. While raiding the Income Tax Department seized properties worth crores of rupees.
The raids lasted from 1 August to 8 August at the businessmen located in Jalna district. The total value of the seized assets is around 390 crores. It includes 56 crores of cash and 32 kg of gold, diamonds, and pearls. The department has also seized relevant documents.
According to officials, the businessman was accused of tax evasion, and based on information received in this regard, the Income Tax Department team raided last week.
Moreover, a senior official of the department said 56 crore cash and seized jewelry are worth Rs 14 crore. Apart from documents, digital data has also been found in the action.
However, the Income Tax Department has also raided the houses, offices, and factories of steel makers in Jalna. In recent days, the investigating agencies have taken many big actions in some states including Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal and have seized cash worth crores of rupees.
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