SC defers hearing in SNC Lavalin corruption case to April 6 - The Daily Guardian
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SC defers hearing in SNC Lavalin corruption case to April 6

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New Delhi [India], February 23 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred the hearing of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) appeal challenging the acquittal of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan along with two others in the alleged multi-crore SNC-Lavalin scam to April 6.
A bench of the apex court headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit adjourned the matter to April 6.
According to the prosecution, Vijayan is accused of allegedly hatching a criminal conspiracy while he was serving as the Electricity Minister of Kerala from May 1996 to October 1998.
Vijayan and other senior executives of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB)–former Power Department secretary K Mohanachandran and former joint secretary A Francis–were accused of allegedly awarding the contract for renovation and modernisation of few hydroelectric projects to a Canada-based company SNC-Lavalin at exorbitant rates, “thereby illegally causing a loss of around Rs 350 crores to the state”, the prosecution said.
CBI had moved the top court after the Kerala High Court upheld the trial court order giving a clean chit to the Chief Minister due to lack of evidence against him. (ANI)

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Pune: 30-year-old researcher at National Chemical Laboratory found murdered

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Pune (Maharashtra) [India], February 28 (ANI): A 30-year-old researcher at the National Chemical Laboratory was found murdered in the Pashan area of Pune on Saturday.
“A 30-year-old researcher at National Chemical Laboratory was found murdered in Pashan area of Pune, earlier on Saturday. A case has been registered,” informed the Pune city police.
According to police, the victim was brutally murdered and his face was also hit with a stone in order to hide his identity. Morning walkers in the area found the body lying in their way and informed police in the morning at around 8:30 am.
The deceased was a resident of the Jalna district of Maharashtra. The deceased was residing in the Sutarwadi area of Pune and was a research scholar at National Chemical Laboratory in the Pashan area.
According to police the victim was found brutally murdered by the culprit, his throat was also found slit and clothes were also found removed at the time when police recovered the body.
“Further investigation is underway,” the police informed. (ANI)

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Rajasthan: Robbers dig tunnel, loot silver from house in Jaipur

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Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], February 28 (ANI): Robbers dug a tunnel and looted silver from a house in Jaipur on Saturday, according to the police official.

“A doctor filed a complaint of missing silver he had kept under tiles, three months ago. We reached the spot and found a tunnel made from a plot behind his residence,” said the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Jaipur, Raisingh Beniwal to ANI.
“Further probe is underway,” he said. (ANI)

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BJP can’t threaten me by sending ED, CBI ahead of assembly polls: Abhishek Banerjee

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West Midnapur (West Bengal) [India], February 28 (ANI): Ahead of Assembly polls, Trinamool Congress leader and a Member of Parliament, Abhishek Banerjee has slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and alleged that BJP can’t threaten him by sending Directorate of Enforcement (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials.
“Do they (BJP) think they can threaten me by sending ED, CBI just like they did to one (Suvendu Adhikari) and make me join BJP like him? We are both human but there is a difference in the spine. He (Suvendu) sold his spine but my spine is not for sale. You can’t buy it,” said TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee while addressing a rally in West Midnapur on Saturday.
Banerjee said that he will continue to chant Jai hind, Jai Bangla, Jai Medinipur even if his throat is cut.
“Even if my throat is cut, I will keep chanting Jai hind, Jai Bangla, Jai Medinipur, Mamata Banerjee zindabad, and Trinamool Congress zindabad. So there is no point in threatening me,” Banerjee said.
Earlier on February 21, CBI served a notice to Rujira Banerjee Naroola, the wife of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek asking her to join the investigation related to the coal scam case.
“At 2 pm today, the CBI served a notice in the name of my wife. We have full faith in the law of the land. However, if they think they can use these ploys to intimidate us, they are mistaken. We are not the ones who would ever be cowed down,” tweeted Abhishek Banerjee.
Regarding this, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said the people of Bengal cannot be intimidated by jail.
In another crucial development, CBI had also issued summons to Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law Maneka Gambhir in connection with the coal scam case.
West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The tenure of the 16th Legislative Assembly of West Bengal will end on May 30 this year. A total of 7,34,07,832 voters will choose their representative for the 17th Legislative Assembly of West Bengal. (ANI)

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Rahul Gandhi slams Centre, says Centre thinks they can control people of Tamil Nadu

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Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 28 (ANI): Ahead of the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday slammed the Centre and said the Centre thinks they can control the people of Tamil Nadu.
Gandhi even targeted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and alleged that he is a corrupt leader.
“I fall asleep at night in 30 seconds as I’m not afraid of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. How long does Tamil Nadu CM take? He can’t sleep at night as he isn’t honest. Since he’s dishonest he can’t stand up against Mr Modi’ who thinks he can control people of Tamil Nadu because Chief Minister is corrupt,” Gandhi said while addressing a gathering.
Gandhi went ahead to say that the Centre cannot control the people of Tamil Nadu via a remote.
“Mr Modi thinks Tamil Nadu is like his television, he can pick up remote and do whatever he wants. He can put the volume up and CM will talk louder and vice versa. He thinks he can control people of Tamil Nadu, but people are going to remove the battery from the remote and throw it away,” said Gandhi.
The Congress leader appreciated the efforts of the salt workers in the state.
He said, “Today a worker at salt pan told me ‘salt we are collecting is helping fight Corona, work I’m doing here, collecting salt, goes into medicine used to treat coronavirus. I’m not only collecting salt but protecting the country from coronavirus’. That’s the beauty of your state.”
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.
With this announcement, the model code of conduct comes into force. The assembly elections in the southern state are important for the national as well as the regional political parties.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other. (ANI)

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Assembly polls: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to kick start campaign in Assam on March 1

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By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Congress Party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is set to launch a poll campaign in Assam from March 1, for the upcoming state Assembly polls.
She will tour the state for two days from March 1 onwards. The Congress party has planned various interaction programs on the first day of Priyanka Gandhi’s visit. Thereafter, she will address a rally on March 2 in Tezpur town in Assam.
Prior to that, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had visited Assam and addressed a rally in which the party gave a message that Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be highlighted as the main agenda from Congress party’s side.
Gandhi had even worn a scarf depicting his anti-CAA stand symbolically in which he had said, “Hum ne yeh gamchha pehna hai. Ispe likha hai CAA. Ispe humne cross laga rakha hai, matlab chahe kuchh bhi ho jaye, CAA nahi hoga. ‘Hum do, hamare do’ achhi tarah sun lo, CAA nahi hoga, kabhi nahi hoga.” (translated as I have worn this gamcha today. We have written CAA on it and have put a cross on it. Meaning that whatever happens, CAA will not happen. Our two and ours two, listen carefully. CAA will never happen. )
Rahul Gandhi had spoken on Assam Accords as well. He will be in Tamil Nadu on Monday. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be campaigning in Assam.
Besides Assam, other poll-bound state’s Pradesh Congress Committee’s want Priyanka Gandhi to campaign in their state too. Kerala state unit has already sent a proposal to the General Secretary in-charge of the state mentioning the campaign dates of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
On Friday, the Election Commission of India announced that Assam will go to Assembly elections in three phases beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “In Assam, elections shall be held in three phases. The first phase of notification is March 2 and 47 seats in 12 districts will go to the polls. The last date of nomination March 9 and the date of poll is March 27. In the second phase, 39 constituencies in 13 districts will go to the polls on April 1. Forty Assembly constituencies in 12 districts to go on polls on April 6. Votes will be counted on May 2.”
Currently, the BJP government is ruling in the state and is confident of winning polls while Congress is in alliance with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in the state. (ANI)

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JP Nadda to visit Uttar Pradesh today

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New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party National President Jagat Prakash Nadda will visit Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, informed the official statement.
“BJP National President Shri J P Nadda ji’s to address public programs in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow,” informed the Office of JP Nadda in a tweet.
At 11 AM, Nadda will arrive at the Varanasi Airport. Then, at 4:45 PM, he will inaugurate the newly built regional office and Prayagraj Mahavidyalaya in Rohania, Varanasi. At 7 PM, Nadda will interact with various social leaders at Chaudhary Lawns near Naria, BHU in Varanasi.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are scheduled to take place in 2022. BJP had stormed back to power in the state in the 2017 Assembly polls. In the 403 member Uttar Pradesh Assembly, among the major parties, BJP has 309 legislators, SP 49, BSP 18, and Congress 7. (ANI)

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