Aviation ministry denied charter plane to shift MLAs from Karnataka: JD(S)

Aviation ministry denied charter plane to shift MLAs from Karnataka: JD(S)

Kochi: Kerala minister and JD-S leader Mathew T. Thomas on Friday alleged that the Ministry of Civil Aviation did not give them permission for a charter plane to shift Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) MLAs from Karnataka to Kochi.

Fearing defection to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and JD-S yesterday shifted their MLAs, lodged at Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru. Thomas while speaking to ANI said he was expecting the MLAs to reach Kochi on May 17, but the Ministry of Civil Aviation did not give them permission for a charter plane.

“I am definite Karnataka JD(S) MLAs are not coming by flight so I am moving to Kurnool. Not sure about destination if they come here, they are welcome. I was expecting them yesterday but Civil Aviation Department did not give permission to a charter flight,” Thomas said.

Kerala Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran earlier invited Congress and JD(S) MLAs from Karnataka to their state to avoid horse-trading and poaching bid by BJP. Neighbouring Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have also been mentioned as possible destinations. As the newly elected Chief Minister of Karnataka B. S. Yeddyurappa has 15-day to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly, the Congress and JD-S has been alleging that the BJP is trying to “poach” their MLAs.

Urban-rural divide key to outcome of Karnataka poll

Urban-rural divide key to outcome of Karnataka poll

Bengaluru: Campaigning in Karnataka has come to an end, with high-intensity rallies being carried out by both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to woo voters in their favour in both rural and urban areas. According to Election Commission data, Karnataka consists of 70 urban and 154 rural assembly constituencies.

While nearly half of the urban constituencies are in Bengaluru city (28), the rest are spread across seven city corporations – 43 city municipal councils (CMCs), 65 town municipal councils (TMCs) and 92 town panchayats (TPs). Drawing from the experience of the Gujarat assembly elections in December last year, it was observed then that the BJP held strong ground in urban Gujarat, while the Congress had the rural voter segment in its grip.

Assembly polls in Karnataka take place tomorrow, and it will be worth a watch to see whether the BJP can work its magic in rural and urban areas, or will they concede defeat to the grand old party for a second time. While the election results in Gujarat depicted a clear urban-rural divide, a similar situation is hard to ascertain in Karnataka, based on the results of the past two elections.

A cursory glance at the 2008 and 2013 elections in Karnataka show that results could go either way, thereby eliminating the possibility of a clear-cut pattern in voting. Taking Bengaluru into account, which has the most urban constituencies, the BJP, in 2008, won in 17 out of 28 seats, while the Congress won nearly 60 percent of the rural seats in the state.

Tables, however, turned in 2013, with the Congress winning 13 seats, one more than the BJP.  It must also be noted that in 2008, campaigning largely focused on the rural population, while in 2013, the urban voter dominated the decision-making process. While the rural population is looking forward to increased availability of electricity, clean drinking water, education and job opportunities, the urban voter is more concerned about commuting through the harrowing, traffic congested streets of India’s IT hub.

Opinion polls conducted across the state have shown that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s campaign is leaning towards the rural population, be it his emphasis on promoting Kannada or the importance of preserving the state’s culture and heritage. While these may garner votes in the Congress’ favour, the alarming rate of farmer suicides in this stratum could swing votes in either direction.

The BJP too has been capitalising on the opportunity to hold the Siddaramaiah government responsible for the plight of farmers and the lack of basic amenities, which may open doors for the former to woo rural voters. Opinion polls have also stated that the BJP may secure a higher share of votes in urban Karnataka, as many feel that issues related to Bengaluru have not been tackled during the Congress reign, be it infrastructural congestion, growing traffic, pollution of lakes, inefficient management of garbage, delays in the Metro rail construction, all of which have contributed to a disruptive existence.

Although campaigning has been extensively rural-centric, the urban voters, along with the final stance of the Janata Dal (Secular) would be game-changers. Karnataka will elect representatives to 224-seat assembly on May 15.  A total of 2,655 candidates are in the fray and 4.96 lakh people, including 2.52 crore men and 2.44 crore women, will take part in the election. Over 15 lakh are first-time voters in the 18-19 years age group.

The population of Karnataka in 2018 as per estimated data is over 68 million. The literacy rate is 75.36 percent as per latest data. About 84 percent of its people are Hindu, 13 percent Muslim, 1.9 percent Christian, 0.16 percent Buddhist and 0.05 percent Sikh. Kannada is the official language of the state and is spoken by 66.26 percent of the population. The population density of the state is 319 persons per square kilometre. The number of people living per square kilometer in the city has extended to 4,378 in the year 2011 from 2,985 in 2001, The BJP has fielded 224 candidates, while Congress and JD (S) have fielded 222 and 201 seats respectively.

The election is considered significant for the incumbent Congress, who wants to retain power in the southern state ahead of the next year’s general elections, while the BJP is going the extra mile to dethrone the Siddaramaiah government and come back to power after a decade under the leadership of former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. The JD(S), too, is looking to establish itself once again in the state’s politics and is being perceived as a game changer in the state.

Kerala girl who was asked to remove innerwear alleges NEET observer stared at her ‘inappropriately

Kerala girl who was asked to remove innerwear alleges NEET observer stared at her ‘inappropriately

In yet another alleged case of sexual harassment and sexism, a girl student from Kerala who had to compulsorily remove her innerwear to answer this year’s NEET exam has filed a complaint against an external observer for staring at her “inappropriately”.

The girl student had to remove her bra as authorities said it had metal hooks which would set off a metal detector. A similar incident occurred last year as well in Kerala, when woman examiners taking the NEET exam were forced to remove their innerwear for “security”, reported NDTV.

The girl student had gone to Lion’s school at Koppam, in Kerala’s Palakkad district, to take the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test or NEET conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education or CBSE unaware about that she will go through this ordeal.

“My sister became mentally tense, found it difficult to write the exam properly,” her sister told television channels, according to PTI. Her sister, she said, tried to cover herself with the question paper whenever the male external observer came close, since he kept looking “at her chest” and not her face.

Kerala police officers said they are speaking to “more witnesses” who had appeared for the test in the same school. A case has been registered under section 509 (eve teasing by word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code. A regional CBSE official said they are yet to receive a complaint on the matter. “We are inquiring and a report is expected by next week,” Tarun Kumar was quoted as saying by PTI.

(with PTI inputs)

Supreme Court collegium to meet today to decide on Justice Joseph elevation

Supreme Court collegium to meet today to decide on Justice Joseph elevation

New Delhi: The Supreme Court collegium will meet today to reconsider its recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K.M. Joseph and other judges to the top court.

The apex court sources said the collegium, which includes Chief Justice Dipak Misra and the top four senior judges, will meet at 1 p.m.
Besides Justice Joseph, the collegium will also consider names of judges from the Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court.

The development came in the wake of a letter by second senior-most judge of the apex court, Justice J. Chelameswar, to Chief Justice Misra on Wednesday seeking reiteration of collegium’s January 10 unanimous recommendation for elevating Justice Joseph. With just six working days left before Justice Chelameswar bids adieu to the Supreme Court, he said the recommendation must be done at the earliest and the file carrying the reiteration sent back to the government.

Though Justice Chelameswar, a member of the collegium, is retiring on June 22, the top court is left with six working days before it goes for a six-week summer break next weekend. On May 2, the collegium, which also includes Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Madan Lokur, met and deferred a decision on the government’s request to reconsider its recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph.

The meeting was inconclusive but no specific date was given for the next meeting of the collegium which was speculated to take place this week. Justice Kurian Joseph earlier said the Central government should not have rejected the recommendation as this has never happened before.

The top court collegium, recommending the elevation of Justice Joseph on January 10, said: “The collegium considers that at present Justice K.M. Joseph, who hails from Kerala High Court and is currently functioning as Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, is more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court.”

However, the Central government while returning his recommendation for reconsideration said Justice Joseph stood at number 42 in the seniority of High Court judges and there are 11 Chief Justices of different high courts who are senior to him — a clear suggestion that his elevation to the Supreme Court would be at their expense.

The Centre also raised the principle of proportionality contending that Kerala High Court was a “comparatively small High Court” with a sanctioned strength of 42 judges and was a parent high court for the top court judge Justice Kurian Joseph, the Chief Justices of three High Courts — Justice K.M. Joseph himself (Uttarakhand), Justice T.B. Radhakrishnan (Chhattisgarh) and Justice Antony Dominic (Kerala).

The Central government also flagged the absence of SC/ST judges in the top judiciary. There is a perception that the government was standing in the way of the elevation of Justice Joseph because of his judgment in 2016 striking down the Central government’s decision to impose President’s rule in Uttarakhand, but Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has denied this.

Shiv Sena slams PM Modi for making personal attacks on Rahul Gandhi

Shiv Sena slams PM Modi for making personal attacks on Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: In an unexpected instance, Shiv Sena member Sanjay Raut has slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he had criticized Rahul Gandhi. The Congress president had on Tuesday expressed that he ‘wants to be the prime minister’ if his party decides so in 2019 general election. PM Modi on this took a dig at Rahul and said he is jumping the queue of senior leaders.
The Shiv Sena member told India Today that the PM should abstain from making personal attacks. “Every party decides as per their need. If in 2019 Rahul wants to become PM, people will decide, just as people elected the BJP in 2014. If we believe in democracy it’s not right to demean any leader like this,” Raut said.
He also gave examples of the previous governments, saying, “Leaders are in the queue in every party. Pranab da was in queue but Manmohan Singh became the PM. In the BJP, Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani were in queue but the party chose Narendra Modi.”
This backing up of Congress president by Shiv Sena can add more fuel to the ongoing spat between BJP and Shiv Sena over the Lok Sabha by-polls.


Karnataka Polls: Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah to campaign today

Karnataka Polls: Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah to campaign today

Bengaluru: In the run-up to the Assembly polls in the state of Karnataka, former Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah are scheduled to visit the state for their election campaign, later today.

Adityanath, who is a star campaigner for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Karnataka polls, is expected to address public meetings in Bhatkal, Byndoor, Mudabidre, Virajpet, and Sullia during the day. Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi will address a public meeting at Vijayapura at 03:00 pm.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, on the other hand, will address a gathering in Mysuru, the city whose former ruler Tipu Sultan, has become a political agenda for both the BJP and the Congress. On a related note, Siddaramaiah ran into controversy when his government celebrated Tipu’s birth anniversary last year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 6 took a dig at the Congress in a rally in Chitradurga over the same issue, claiming that the party is at the forefront of celebrating jayantis of sultans for vote bank politics. With the election to the 225-member Karnataka State Assembly edging closer, the state has become a battleground with public rallies being the primary form of warfare.

Both the BJP and Congress have extensively tried to undermine each other in a bid to woo the electorate of the state, as a win in this election is also likely to give an edge for next year’s General Elections to the winning party.

Indian Army mulls specialized cadre for permanent commission to women

Indian Army mulls specialized cadre for permanent commission to women

New Delhi: The Indian Army is planning to create a “specialized cadre” system in a bid to grant permanent commission to women so that they can be deployed in various other non-combatant fields.

This comes as an effort to resolve the issue of short service commission. There are six branches of the Indian Army which has been identified for women to continue their job after completion of 10+4 years of Short Service Commission and they include Judge Advocate General (JAG), image interpreter, language, cyber & IT, Air Traffic Control and Service Selection Board.

After completing 10 years in the service, the women have options either to retire or continue for four more years while their male counterpart has an option of permanent commission after completion of 10 years in service. Earlier, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had pitched for women officers in combat role stating that the government is working seriously to have women in combat uniforms.

Dress not reason behind rape: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Dress not reason behind rape: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: Calling for a change in mindset, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, it is ridiculous to claim that a woman’s attire is the reason behind a rape. She further questioned, if the dress is the reason, then why does an elderly woman or a toddler is sexually abused.

“What efforts can be made by external agencies when you have known people absolutely violating the women? Some people say about the way women dress. Then why does rape happen of elderly people? Why does rape happen of toddlers?” the minister said at an event organised by industry lobby FICCI. The minister said law agencies need to be more proactive in providing safety to women.

“Out of every 10 such incidents, seven are committed by people who know the victim– relative, friends, neighbour. Law enforcement agencies need to be far more proactive, I concede all that,” she said. Sitharaman addressed ‘Stories That Matter’-an event organised at FICCI and released the Gender Parity Survey Report.

Chhattisgarh CGBSE Class 10, 12 Results: Results to be declared on May 9; check scores at cgbse.net, cgbse.nic.in

Chhattisgarh CGBSE Class 10, 12 Results: Results to be declared on May 9; check scores at cgbse.net, cgbse.nic.in

In yet another round of exam results, Chhattisgarh Board of School Education (CGBSE) will release the CGBSE class 10 and CGBSE class 12 results on May 9. An official from the board told NDTV that the results will be released on the official website of the board, cgbse.nic.in, on Wednesday. CGBSE candidates can visit the official website and check the results on May 9.

The CGBSE Board conducted the exams in the second week of March 2018, while the class 10 board exam began on 5 March 2018, the board exams for class 12 students started two days later on 7 March. The class 10 exam ended on 28 March 2018 while the class 12 exam concluded on 22 March 2018, reported NDTV.

How to obtain your results:

Step One: Go to the official website of CGBSE at cgbse.net or cgbse.nic.in

Step Two: Click on the results link

Step Three: On next page, enter the roll number mentioned in the admit card. For Class 12, chose your streams from links given there

Step Four: Submit the detail

Step Five: Download your results

Step Six: Save a copy of the result obtained

CGBSE class 10 and CGBSE Class 12 results will be released on third party results website, examresults.net as well.

Jinnah portrait row: AMU postpones examinations till May 12

Jinnah portrait row: AMU postpones examinations till May 12

Aligarh: Amid the ongoing protest in Aligarh Muslim University over the portrait of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, examinations in the varsity have been postponed till May 12.

“Examinations in Aligarh Muslim University have been postponed till May 12 due to the ongoing protests,” Public Relations Officer, Umar Salim Parizda told ANI. The controversy surrounding Jinnah’s poster triggered after BJP Aligarh MP Satish Gautam wrote a letter to AMU’s Vice-Chancellor seeking an explanation on the portrait of Pakistan’s founder in the students’ union office.

The portrait of Jinnah has been hanging on a wall in the students union’s office at AMU for decades. Last week, a clash broke out between students of the AMU and the police over the matter. Internet services were also suspended in the varsity to prevent the communal flare-up over the issue.