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BJP deriving 'sadistic pleasure' out of Maha logjam: Shiv Sena

Mumbai: In a vitriolic attack on the BJP, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday said it was deriving "sadistic pleasure" out of the struggle of other political parties to form government in Maharashtra.

Without taking any names, the Sena, in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', said those who talk of ethics in politics are currently the "most disruptive".


President's rule was imposed in the state on Tuesday after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sent a report to the Centre, stating that formation of a stable government was impossible in the current situation despite all his efforts.

The development came as the political stalemate continued since the declaration of Assembly poll results last month, with the Congress and NCP saying they had not yet taken any decision on Shiv Sena's proposal of forming a government and will hold further discussions.

Prior to it, the BJP, which won 105 seats, on Sunday expressed its inability to form government due to lack of enough numbers.

Despite their alliance getting a majority, the BJP and the Shiv Sena parted ways following disagreement over power sharing, with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party insisting on the chief minister's post.

"If a party with 105 MLAs could not form government, others would struggle for sure. But it does not mean the largest party should rejoice. This attitude of deriving sadistic pleasure has pushed Maharashtra into today's situation," the Sena claimed.

The BJP, as the single largest party, was given "15 days" to form government, but the Sena got merely 24 hours, it rued.

How could signatures of all MLAs be secured when some were out of the state? the Sena wondered, adding that "this is called misuse of the state machinery".

Despite having a clear idea that three parties (Sena, Congress and NCP) need to coordinate properly, the Raj Bhawan gave only 24 hours and on (their) failure (to muster numbers), the BJP was seen rejoicing, it is not a good sign," it said.

It seems someone is more happy over non-formation of government in the state, the Sena said in sarcastic comments. "Those who talk of ethics in politics are the most disruptive in the current politics," the Marathi daily said.

It alleged that the BJP's decision to sit in the opposition was not a strategy, but part of some conspiracy. "The mandate was for the BJP and Shiv Sena. Had the BJP kept its promise, we would have not searched for an alternative.

The BJP talks of being a party of principles, morality and civility, then it should have followed it after the Assembly elections," the Sena said.

In the Assembly elections held last month, the BJP won 105 seats, followed by the Shiv Sena (56), the NCP (54) and the Congress (48) in the 288-member House.


Tis Hazari clash: Lawyers to hold demonstrations at India Gate on November 15

New Delhi: In the wake of the clashes between the police and lawyers earlier this month, the Bar Council of Delhi has decided to hold a demonstration at India Gate on November 15.

Mahavir Sharma, Chairman and Dhir Singh Kasana, Coordination Committee Secretary-General, Bar Council of Delhi said that the lawyers will carry out a march from India Gate to the residence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to handover a representation to him. Earlier today, Sharma had said that the lawyers' strike would continue across all district courts in Delhi.


Yesterday, a court here sought compliance report from Delhi police in the FIRs related to clash at Tis Hazari Court complex on November 2. The court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Jitender Singh, sought the report on the application of lawyer's committee seeking "status report in related FIRs and issue directions to the Delhi police to arrest the accused or suspected persons named in the FIRs".

The court further directed the concerned DCP to file the status report on or before November 20. The legal committee of Delhi Bar Association, through the application, has alleged that fair investigation is not taking place in the matter and the investigation agency has not recorded the statement of witnesses or advocates who were present during the alleged incident. It has also sought preservation of the CCTV footage from inside and around the place of incident.

On the other hand, the public prosecutor appearing for Delhi police submitted that a fair investigation is being carried out by the crime branch of Delhi Police and the agency is leaving no stone unturned for expeditiously complete the investigation. A judicial inquiry too had been ordered after a violent clash erupted between police and lawyers at Tis Hazari Court complex over an alleged parking issue, which left several cops and advocates injured.


Encounter at Ganderbal: 1 terrorist killed and 1 Indian soldier injured in ongoing encounter between terrorists and security

Jammu and Kashmir: An encounter is underway between terrorists and security forces in Gund area of Jammu and Kashmir's Ganderbal district.

"Encounter has started at Gund, Ganderbal. Further details shall follow," Kashmir Zone Police tweeted on Tuesday morning.

One terrorist was killed in an ongoing encounter between terrorists and security forces in Gund area of Jammu and Kashmir's Ganderbal district.

One terrorist eliminated in an encounter near Gund, #Ganderbal. Operation in progress," said Chinar Corps - Indian Army.

Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Kulan area of the central Kashmir district in the morning following inputs about the presence of militants. During the search, the hiding militants fired upon the security forces, who retaliated, according to an officer.

An army soldier was also injured and rushed to a medical facility for treatment, the officer said.

The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is yet to be ascertained. The operation is on and further details are awaited, the officer added.

More details of the ongoing operation are awaited.

This comes after two terrorists of UN-designated terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, were neutralised in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora on Monday.

Arms and ammunition were recovered from their possession.

Inputs from Agencies.


PM Modi wishes nation on Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday wished the nation on the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.

"Today, on the very special occasion of the 550th Prakash Parv of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, my greetings to everyone. This is a day to rededicate ourselves to fulfilling Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji's dream of a just, inclusive and harmonious society," he tweeted.

The Prime Minister also tweeted a video showcasing part of his speech from the inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor, on November 9, where he had called on countrymen to take inspirations from life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev.

"Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught us the importance of living with true values and also gave an economic system based on honesty and self-confidence," he outlined.

On November 9, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Kartarpur corridor at Gurdaspur, facilitating the visa-free travel of Indian pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib, which is the last resting place of Guru Nanak Dev.

The corridor connects Dera Baba Nanak in India's Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province.

Taking to Twitter, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also extended his greeting and wrote, "I bow to Shri Guru Nanakdev Ji on the auspicious occasion of his 550th jayanti."

Meanwhile, hundreds of devotees have flocked to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib on the occasion of Guru Purab to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. The Gurudwaras have been decorated with lights on the occasion.

The day is celebrated on the full moon day of the Kartik month as per the Hindu calendar. Hence, it is also known as Kartik Poornima.


President accepts Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant's resignation, gives portfolio to Javadekar

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant from the Union council of ministers with immediate effect, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said.

Sawant's resignation has been accepted on advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the spokesperson.


As advised by the prime minister, the president has directed that Union minister Prakash Javadekar be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in addition to his existing portfolios, the spokesperson added.


Income Tax Department busts hawala racket of Rs 3,300 crore involving infra firms

On Monday, the CBDT has claimed that the Income Tax Department has busted a hawala racket worth Rs 3,300-crore. The hawala racket is said to be spread across multiple cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad with links to "leading corporate houses" in the infrastructure sector.

According to News18, the raids to unearth the large tax evasion nexus were conducted in the first week of this month on 42 premises in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Erode, Pune, Agra and Goa on a group of people indulging in issuing bogus bills and carrying on hawala transactions. “The search operations resulted in busting of a major racket of cash generation by leading corporate houses in the infrastructure sector through bogus contracts/bills,” an official release said.


"The search action was successful in unearthing incriminating evidences and establishing the nexus between big corporates, hawala operators and identification of entire chain of delivery, as well as siphoning of funds by way of bogus contracts to the tune of Rs 3,300 crore," the CBDT told the News18.

Funds meant for public infrastructure projects were siphoned off through entry operators, lobbyists and hawala dealers. The companies involved in siphoning of funds are mostly located in NCR and Mumbai. One such company was earlier searched by Income Tax Department in April, 2019, the release added.

The Board, the policy-making body for the I-T department, however, did not identify the entities raided. The companies involved in siphoning of funds are mostly located in the national capital region and Mumbai, it said. One such company was earlier searched by I-T sleuths in April this year, the statement said.

The projects are involved in bogus billings are major infrastructure and EWS (economically weaker section) projects located in Southern India. Evidence of cash payment of more than Rs. 150 crore to a prominent person in Andhra Pradesh has also been unearthed during the search.

The search action was successful in unearthing incriminating evidences and establishing the nexus between big corporates, hawala operators and identification of entire chain of delivery, as well as siphoning of funds by way of bogus contracts to the tune of Rs. 3300 crore. Unexplained cash of Rs 4.19 crore and jewellery in excess of Rs 3.2 crore was also seized during the search operation, the release said.


Kingmaker to King? Governor sends feelers to Sharad Pawar’s NCP

New Delhi / Mumbai: It was drama in real life. After rebuffing a hapless Shiv Sena, which had sought more time from the Governor to clear the decks for government formation, B.S. Koshyari, late on Monday, asked the Nationalist Congress Party to inform him by 8.30 am on Tuesday whether it can form the next government in the state.

With that, a scenario is emerging in which the NCP can stake claim with Congress support. Incidentally, this is also the second largest pre-poll alliance.


However, in a strange role-reversal, now it has to solicit the support of the Shiv Sena, so that the formulation does not flounder on the floor of the House. Possibly, the proposed CM by rotation formula, to which the BJP had declined, may again come into play.

But forming a government is easier said than done. The Governor requires letters with signatures, names, constituency names and the number of all the supporting legislators, which is difficult to organise at such a short notice.

Nonetheless, the NCP showed its inclination to form the government by despatching former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to the Raj Bhavan for a meeting along with half-a-dozen other leaders.

The Governor is clearly going strictly by the book and exhausting all possible options before placing Maharashtra in a state of suspended animation, a prelude to imposition of President’s rule.

Earlier, having created an impression – through innuendo and by way of selective leaks -- that it had decided to prop up a Shiv Sena-led government, Sonia Gandhi asked Pawar for two more days to think things over, so that she can take a more informed decision on the matter.

It was unclear whether the Congress and the NCP were playing to a script, expecting that the Governor, strapped for options, will invite them to form the government.

Sources said there were sharp differences in the Congress Working Committee meeting, which constrained Sonia to ring up Pawar and seek more time to address party concerns.

A small press statement was put out by Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal which was silent on the support to the Sena government.

In reply to a question, he just said the Congress letter of support has not been sent yet to the Maharashtra governor and he won't say anything further on it. The statement also said the party will have further discussion with the NCP.

Earlier, Pawar spoke to Sonia and underscored that outside support to the Sena won't ensure a stable government. He insisted on the Congress joining the government and indicated that Uddhav Thackeray had agreed to have two deputy CMs -- one of the Congress and the other of the NCP.


PM Modi pays obeisance at Ber Sahib Gurdwara in Sultanpur Lodhi

Sultanpur Lodhi: As a part of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his obeisance at Ber Sahib Gurdwara here on Saturday.

Wearing an orange headcover, the Prime Minister offered his prayers at the gurdwara. After paying his obeisance, he was garlanded with a sacred 'chadar'.

Union Minister Harsimrat Badal and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh were also present with Modi at the gurdwara.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays obeisance at the Ber Sahib Gurudwara, in Sultanpur Lodhi.

Embedded video

Later in the day, Modi is slated to inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor in Gurdaspur district. The 4.7-kilometre-long route will connect Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur and Gurdwara Kartarpur Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.

Modi will today flag off the first batch of 500 Indian pilgrims, which includes former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and her husband and SAD chief Sukhbir Badal and several ministers, MPs and MLAs from Punjab who will travel to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib through the Kartarpur Corridor.


Giani Harpreet Singh, the Jathedar of Akal Takht, will lead the Indian delegation as the religious leader.

The Prime Minister will also inaugurate passenger terminal building, also known as Integrated Check Post, where pilgrims will get clearance to travel through the corridor.

Meanwhile, the first 'jatha' of Sikh pilgrims from India has arrived at Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor.

On the other hand, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will also inaugurate the other side of the route on the same day, apart from other events that will be hosted to mark Guru Nanak Dev's birth anniversary.


Ayodhya Verdict: Section 144 imposed in Mumbai till 11 am tomorrow

The judges at the Supreme Court have begun reading out judgment in the century-old Ayodhya case. Section 144 was imposed on Saturday in Mumbai till 11 am tomorrow, Sunday.

"Section 144 of CrPC (prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in an area) imposed in Mumbai city till 11 am tomorrow," reported news agency ANI.

Earlier, Pranay Ashok, PRO Mumbai Police told ANI that, "We're taking the situation very seriously. We'll make complete use of the 40,000 strong Mumbai police. We have RCP (Riot Control Police), Law&Order reserves, special forces like SRPF, RAF,they'll be deployed at strategic locations."


"We're continuously monitoring social media, we'll ensure that rumours aren't spread. Internet services haven't been suspended, further decision will be taken as per situation. More than 5000 cameras are already installed for city surveillance, we will monitor with the help of the feed coming in at our control room. We will also deploy our drone units as per the situation," Pranay Ashok further added.

"Peace and unity are our biggest assets and priority. We appeal to all the citizens to avoid forwarding any objectionable, unverified messages circulating on social media. Dial 100 or reach out to your nearest police station to report any such instances #AyodhyaVerdict," Maharashtra police tweeted.


Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday said that the verdict on the Ayodhya land title dispute case is "unanimous" and that it will preserve balance. "This court must accept faith and belief of worshippers. The court should preserve balance. I will take about half an hour to read it," Chief Justice Gogoi said during the course of proceedings today.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutes will remain closed in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Delhi as the Supreme Court delivers its verdict. Security has been beefed up across the country keeping in view of any untoward incident after the Supreme Court delivers its historic judgement in the politically-sensitive Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

A decade-long legal dispute was fought between right-wing party Hindu Mahasabha, a sect of Hindu monks Nirmohi Akhara and Muslim Waqf Board over 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya. The dispute which had, over the years, turned into both religious and political battles, is expected to come to an end with the decision of the top court.

(Inputs from Agencies)


Ayodhya verdict: School, colleges shut in UP, MP, Karnataka, J-K, Delhi; Section 144 imposed

New Delhi: Schools, colleges and other educational institutes will remain closed in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Delhi as the Supreme Court delivers its verdict in the decades-old Ayodhya dispute on Saturday.

As a precautionary measure, the government has closed all schools, colleges, educational institutions from Saturday to Monday in Uttar Pradesh. Schools and colleges in Karnataka, Jammu, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are also shut today. Even in Delhi all government schools and many private schools are closed, as it is a second Saturday and the government has advised all private schools to also remain closed today.


Section 144 of CrPC, which prohibits gathering of more than four people, has been clamped in entire Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The prohibitory orders will be in effect in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal and Bengaluru. "Section 144 CrPC has been imposed in Bengaluru from 7 am-12 midnight," Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said.

As a precautionary measure, Jammu and Kashmir administration has also postponed examinations and declared Saturday as dry day that means no sale of liquor will take place. The newly-made Union Territory has also banned the bursting of firecrackers. In Hyderabad Anjani Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad City said special deployment has been done in the sensitive areas in the city.

"We have taken all necessary measures to keep the situation under control in Hyderabad and to maintain peace and law and order. Special deployment has been done in the sensitive areas in the city," Kumar said. Security has been beefed up across the country keeping in view of any untoward incident after the Supreme Court delivers its historic judgement in the politically-sensitive Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.