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Sukhbir seeks President’s intervention in convening Parliament’s winter session

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CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and MP Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday called upon the President of India, urging his intervention for immediately convening the Winter Session of the Parliament.

The SAD president who, as MP had voted against the three farm Bills, in his letter to the President, copies of which have been marked to the Speaker, Lok Sabha and to the Vice President of India in his capacity as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said, “It is absurd and ironical that the ruling party sees no danger to public health during gatherings of thousands of people in its election rallies in Bihar and now in West Bengal but wants the countrymen to believe that even a limited meeting of Members of Parliament under strict SOPs would result in a pandemic flare up? There is no lockdown on BJP rallies but there is a lockdown on Parliament comprising just a few hundred members, and that too under controlled circumstances. The Covid excuse is patently fake and even ridiculous.”

“The government is making a laughing stock of itself. But the tragedy is that ultimately the joke is on our poor people and on our sacred democratic traditions,” said the SAD president. Badal said that even if the pandemic excuse were to be accepted, the obvious question still remains. “Are our lives more important than the lives of the millions and millions of people whom we represent and who trusted their destiny and lives in our hands at the elections. Are we going to betray that innocent trust because we are scared of meeting to help these patriotic annadatas to go back to their homes feeling secure about their future?”

Describing the government’s attitude as a case of “historic blunder,” Badal said, “The ruling party’s stubbornness to listen to the country’s ‘annadata’ and to let them die within a few hundred yards of the Parliament would be remembered in history as a case of a heartless and conscience-less government at war with its own people?” Badal said that the Parliament must meet immediately as “a national priority”. The ongoing farmers’ movement affects nearly 100 crores of our people directly and the rest indirectly going by the percentage of the country’s population dependent on agriculture,” said Badal in his letter.

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BJP BAGS 3 SEATS, CM MANIK SAHA WINS FROM BARDOWALI

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Tripura Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manik Saha won the assembly poll from the Town Bardowali constituency by a margin of 6,104 votes, the Election Commission said.

BJP has bagged victory on three out of four seats in the Tripura bypolls while the Congress won one seat. Congress candidate Sudip Roy Barman won from Agartala seat by 3,163 votes. The BJP won Town Bordowali, Jubarajnagar and Surma seats respectively. The bypolls in Tripura were crucial for Manik Saha who replaced Biplab Kumar Deb last month. The dentist-turned politician himself was a candidate and fought his first-ever direct election to save his CM seat. The bypolls were necessitated in these seats due to the resignations of the legislators in two seats, disqualification of an MLA in one, and the death of one of the MLAs midterm.

Saha was sworn in as the chief minister of Tripura on May 15. The BJP decided on leadership change in the state a year ahead of the Assembly elections by replacing Biplab Kumar Deb with Saha as the Chief Minister. After Manik Saha was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Tripura, the BJP has once again taken recourse to its old mantra to beat anti-incumbency by changing the face in a poll-bound state. Saha joined the BJP in 2016 after quitting Congress. He was made party chief in 2020 and elected to Rajya Sabha in March this year. Meanwhile, BJP national president JP Nadda congratulated Manik Saha on his victory in the elections.

Taking to Twitter, Nadda wrote, “Congratulations to CM Shri @DrManikSaha2 for winning the assembly poll from his constituency and to all @BJP4Tripura leaders for winning 3 out of 4 seats in the bypolls. This is the result of your hardwork and the faith of the people in the vision of Hon. PM Shri @narendramodi,” Nadda tweeted.

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CASH SEIZED FROM BIHAR DRUGS INSPECTOR’S RESIDENCE

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A team of surveillance department raided the residence of Drug Inspector Jitendra Kumar in the disproportionate assets case on Saturday in Patna, capital of Bihar.

The officials seized a large amount of cash from Drug Inspector’s possession that took them several hours to count. Apart from cash, the officers found documents of many properties, a huge amount of gold and silver and four luxury cars, informed Surendra Kumar Maur, DSP Monitoring Department.

“A team of surveillance department raided the residence of Drug Inspector Jitendra Kumar in the disproportionate assets case. A huge amount of cash, many land papers, gold, silver and four luxury cars were recovered,” said the DSP Monitoring Department officer.

In the video, the officials were seen counting the bundles of notes of all denominations between Rs 100 and Rs 2,000 piled up on the table and bed. More details are awaited.

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UP CM’S HELICOPTER MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING AT VARANASI AIRPORT

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s helicopter made an emergency landing at Varanasi airport after a bird-hit incident on Sunday, informed the Varanasi District Magistrate Kushal Raj. The helicopter landed safely at Reserve Police Lines ground. He later boarded a state plane to Lucknow from Varanasi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri International airport. “The CM and his staff are safe and will be travelling to Lucknow by another aircraft,” added Raj.

The CM had come to Varanasi on Saturday and had paid obeisance at Kashi Vishwanath temple, besides holding a review meeting.

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J-K POLICE SHARE DETAILS OF SHOWKAT’S ENCOUNTER AFTER MUFTI RAISES QUESTIONS

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Hours after Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti raised questions over the killing of terrorist Showkat Ahmad Sheikh, Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday said that they have already shared a detailed note on June 20 encounter in which the latter got neutralised and his involvement in terror-related activities.

Taking to Twitter, Kashmir Zone Police shared the press note based on the 20 June encounter and killing of terrorist Showkat Ahmad Sheikh. «We have already issued a detailed press note of the #encounter on 20th June, in which #terrorist Showkat along with three foreign terrorists got #neutralised. Besides, his involvement in # terror-related activities was also shared. @JmuKmrPolice,» Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.

This came after Mufti raised questions over the killing of Showkat, in custody, whom police said was a militant and was killed in an encounter in Kupwara on 20 June.

She also appealed to the youth in the union territory to shun violence and refrain from «picking up guns». «I request youngsters and parents to stop youth from picking guns. They (forces) get money by killing you. I request them to stop picking guns,» said Mufti while addressing reporters here.

On 20 June, seven terrorists, including an arrested terror suspect, were killed during three separate encounters with the security forces. According to police, four terrorists, including Showkat who was arrested on terror charges, were killed during an encounter in the Lolab area of Kupwara.

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Maha governor writes to DGP, seeks security for rebel MLAs

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Amid the continuing political crisis in Maharashtra, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari wrote to the state Director General of Police (DGP) to provide security to the MLAs of Eknath Shinde camp and their families on an immediate basis. “I have received a representation dated 25 June 2022 from 38 MLAs, of Shiv Sena, two MLAs of Prahar Jan Shakti Party and seven Independent MLAs stating that the police security of their families has been illegally and unlawfully withdrawn,” the Governor said in his letter to DGP. 

“They have also raised serious concerns about the safety of their homes and families in the context of the provocative and threatening statements being made by certain political leaders,” Koshyari said.

Already, offices and homes of some of the MLAs have been vandalised with the police being a mute spectator, he added. “I, therefore, direct you to provide adequate police protection to the MLAs, their families and homes on an immediate basis,” the Governor said.

The Central government has provided ‘Y+’ category armed CRPF security cover to 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, who are currently in Assam’s Guwahati, top government sources said on Sunday.

The MLAs provided with round the clock CRPF security are Ramesh Bornare, Mangesh Kudalkar, Sanjay Shirsat, Latabai Sonawane, Prakas Surve, Sadanand Saranavnkar, Yogesh Dada Kadam, Pratap Sarnaik, Yamini Jadhav, Pradeep Jaiswal, Sanjay Rathod, Dadaji Bhuse, Dilip Lande, Balaji Kalyanar and Sandipan Bhumare. The security was provided on Sunday by the CRPF which received an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday.

The Central security cover was provided to these MLAs after Shinde on Saturday alleged that the Maharashtra government has withdrawn the security cover provided at the residences of 16 rebel legislators, including himself, and dubbed the action as “political vendetta”, although Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil denied any such move.

Shinde had also tweeted a letter signed by 16 MLAs that was addressed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and state’s Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil.

In the letter, the legislators said CM Thackeray and the leaders of the ruling MVA alliance will be responsible if any harm is caused to their family members. In their letter, the legislators demanded that their security cover be reinstated.

Security forces have been deployed outside the office of Samadhan Sada Sarvankar, son of rebel Shiv Sena MLA, Sada Sarvankar. Also, security has been heightened outside the residence of rebel Shiv Sena MLA Mangesh Kundalkar. CRPF personnel have been deployed along with Mumbai Police.

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‘How long will rebel MLAs hide in Guwahati, have to return to Chowpatty?’

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Amid twists and turns in the political drama of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut took a potshot on the Eknath Shinde-led faction of rebel MLAs on Sunday. Raut asked how long they will hide in Guwahati in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Assam as they will have to return to Mumbai finally.

The political turbulence in Maharashtra was triggered by the faction war in Shiv Sena after Minister Eknath Shinde flew to Surat with some MLAs and then to Guwahati where he claims of having the support of 38 MLAs of the party, thus achieving the two-thirds majority in the Shiv Sena.

Taking to Twitter, Raut said, “Kab tak chhipoge Gauhati mein…Aana hi padega Chowpatty mein (How long will you hide in Guwahati, you have to come back to Chowpatty).”

According to sources, Maharashtra deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal has sent notices to the 16 Shiv Sena rebel MLAs.

The MLAs have to be present in Mumbai on Monday for the hearing of disqualification.

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