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Cong's Opp meet falls flat as AAP, BSP and TMC stay away

In what might be called as a big jolt to Congress-led opposition, as AAP, BSP and TMC have decided to stay away from today's opposition meeting. On Monday Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and BSP Supremo Mayawati stated that they will not be attending the all Opposition party meeting.

Opposition leaders of Congress, Left parties, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), among others, will hold talks in the afternoon today. The Samajwadi Party is expected to attend the meeting. While the Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party will not be taking part in the meeting.

“In such a situation, the BSP attending the meeting called by the opposition today under the leadership of the Congress will be demoralising to the party’s workers in Rajasthan. That’s why the BSP will not attend this meeting,” Mayawati tweeted in Hindi in the morning.

“The BSP is away against CAA/NRC etc. We again appeal to the central government to withdraw this divisive and unconstitutional law. At the same time, the politicisation of students in JNU and other educational institutions is very unfortunate,” she added.


 · 4h
Replying to @Mayawati
2. ऐसे में कांग्रेस के नेतृत्व में आज विपक्ष की बुलाई गई बैठक में बीएसपी का शामिल होना, यह राजस्थान में पार्टी के लोगों का मनोबल गिराने वाला होगा। इसलिए बीएसपी इनकी इस बैठक में शामिल नहीं होगी। 2/3


3. वैसे भी बीएसपी CAA/NRC आदि के विरोध में है। केन्द्र सरकार से पुनः अपील है कि वह इस विभाजनकारी व असंवैधानिक कानून को वापिस ले। साथ ही, JNU व अन्य शिक्षण संस्थानों में भी छात्रों का राजनीतिकरण करना यह अति-दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण। 3/3

7:11 PM - Jan 12, 2020
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According to news agency ANI, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has said that the party will not attend today's opposition meeting called by Congress to discuss the current political situation in the country. "We have no information about any such meeting. So,makes no sense to attend a meeting we have no information about," AAP MP Sanjay Singh told ANI.

While on the other hand, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee last week had said that she will not be a part of the meeting of the opposition leaders.

Opposition parties will meet on Monday afternoon to discuss the current political situation in the country. Discussions will be held on several issues including the amended Citizenship Act, National Population Register (NPR), National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) during the meeting scheduled to be held in Parliament annexe at 2 pm.

Chhatrapati Shivaji's descendants should clarify if they like Modi being compared to him: Sanjay Raut

Mumbai: Amid the row over a book comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said the warrior king's descendants should clarify if they like the PM being likened to him.

Talking to reporters here, Raut said the BJP should declare that it has no link with the book comparing Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji. The book, titled "Aaj ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi", has been written by BJP leader Jay Bhagwan Goyal.

The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, which are part of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, have criticised the book.


"Chhatrapati Shivaji's descendants should clarify if they like Modi being compared to him. Chhatrapati Shivaji's descendants should quit BJP over the book," Raut said targeting BJP's Rajya Sabha member Sambhaji Raje, who is a descendant of the warrior king.

Sambhaji Raje on Sunday demanded that BJP chief Amit Shah immediately ban the book, which was published in the BJP's Delhi office.

Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe on Sunday lodged a complaint with Nagpur Police against Goyal for allegedly hurting the sentiments of people by comparing Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in his book.


‘No nuclear weapons and don't kill your protesters’: Donald Trump warns Iran

Iran admits it 'unintentionally' shot down Boeing 737, killing 176 aboard

Iran announced Saturday that its military 'unintentionally' shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 aboard.

The statement came Saturday morning and blamed "human error" for the shootdown.

The jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US forces.

Iran had denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft. But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believe Iran shot down the aircraft.

The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials.

The Kiev-bound Ukrainian Boeing 737 passenger plane crashed on Wednesday three minutes after taking off from Tehran airport.

Iran said the engine had caught fire and a video appeared to show the plane already ablaze as it fell from the sky.

The Ukrainian embassy in Iran initially ruled out a missile strike but later backtracked. The plane was less than four years old and had been checked just two days earlier, the Ukrainian airline said.

What is baffling is that despite the fire, the crew did not report an emergency. The crash sent alarm bells ringing in the already volatile region and several airlines have announced they will stop flying over Iranian airspace.

The disaster is another jolt for Boeing which was thrown into tizzy by two plane crashes in October 2018 and March 2019 which killed 346 people.


PM Modi to meet Mamata Banerjee today in Kolkata

Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hold a meeting at the Raj Bhavan on Saturday, a state secretariat official said on Friday.

They are also likely to share the stage during a programme here on Sunday, a source in the Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) said. Modi will be on a two-day visit to Kolkata from January 11, amid ongoing protest at various places in the state against the amended citizenship law.

"As far as we know, she (Banerjee) will attend a programme of the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) on January 12, where the prime minister would also be present," a senior TMC leader told PTI. Both the leaders are also scheduled to hold a meeting at the Raj Bhavan here on Saturday evening, according to a highly-placed official at the state secretariat, who added that Modi will reach the city at around 4pm as per the schedule.


"The PM and the chief minister will be meeting at the Raj Bhavan tomorrow soon after he reaches the city," the official told PTI. However, the agenda of the meeting between Modi and Banerjee was not disclosed. Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya had gone to the state secretariat on Friday to invite Banerjee to the 150th anniversary programme of the KoPT.

The significant political development comes a day after Banerjee had said in the state assembly that she would boycott an opposition meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on January 13 over the JNU violence, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and other "anti-people" policies of the Centre. Ever since the BJP emerged the main contender of the TMC in West Bengal following the Lok Sabha poll results, Modi and Banerjee have not shared the dais at any government programme.

The chief minister had gone to New Delhi in September last year and met Modi in a "courtesy call" visit. The new citizenship law has emerged as the latest flashpoint in the state, with the TMC opposing the contentious legislation tooth and nail, and the BJP pressing for its implementation.

Meanwhile, reacting to the likely meeting of the two leaders, the opposition CPI(M)-led Left Front said the Trinamool Congress' "double standard" is now exposed. "The TMC is actually a Trojan horse in the opposition camp," CPI(M) legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty alleged. The West Bengal BJP leadership, however, said it is expected that in a federal structure, a chief minister will be present at a government programme attended by the prime minister.


CAA comes into effect from Jan 10, Union home ministry issues notification

New Delhi: The Centre on Friday announced that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act will come into force from January 10.

In a gazette notification, the Union home ministry said the act under which non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be given Indian citizenship, will come into force from January 10. "In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of the section 1 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (47 of 2019), the Central government hereby appoints the 10th day of January, 2020, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force," the notification said.


The CAA was passed by parliament on December 11. According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

There have been widespread protests against the act in different parts of the country. Those who are opposed to the legislation are saying that it is for the first time that India will grant citizenship on the basis of religion which violates the basic tenets of the country's constitution.

However, the government and ruling BJP has been defending the act saying that the minority groups from the three countries have no other option but to come India when they face religious persecution there. The home ministry, however, is yet to frame the rules for the act.


FPJ Exclusive: Scam stuns Maha revenue dept, bogus grass payment receipts for registration

Mumbai: The Department of Revenue is stunned by the spate of scams of bogus grass payment receipts for stamp duty registration. Although two such cases in Latur and Nanded have surfaced, the department fears similar frauds may come to light in the rest of Maharashtra.

In the two cases, the department believes the preliminary reports suggest the scam will be worth Rs1.50 crore.

The department has explained the modus operandi for such fraud. “Such irregularities are in close nexus with the computer operators hired by the department on a contract basis.


The stamp duty registration is done online by choosing various options including e-chalan, certification, stamp paper, and electronic stamp paper.

In Latur and Nanded, it has come to a notice that the computer operator clicks the certification option whereby the property purchasers skip the payment of stamp duty,” a revenue department officer told FPJ.

The officer informed the paper that this is an e-payment (grass payment) scam. “There is clearly a loss to the government exchequer as the actual payment of stamp duty is not done because of an unholy nexus between the computer operator and some low-rank staff,” he said.

He added an FIR has already been registered and departmental inquiry ordered. Earlier, the stamp duty payment was done through franking but the government had introduced online payment since 2015.

The government will now have to put in place safety and security measures to avoid such frauds in future,” a government officer from Nanded said.

The officer said the department will have to recover the stamp duty with a penalty from the concerned purchasers.

The department may also initiate criminal proceedings against the purchasers for the manner in which they have paid the stamp duty through bogus challan.

Annually, more than 25 lakh documents are registered across the state through online payment. The state collects stamp duty and registration of over Rs 25,000 crore every year.


Bhopal: Ex-IAF officer phones Governor Tandon posing as Amit Shah, held

BHOPAL: A desperate and audacious attempt by Wing Commander, posted at IAF New Delhi, has landed him in jail. The officer posing as Union Home minister made a call to the state governor to facilitate his frend’s appointment as VC. He was arrested by the Special Task Force along with his friend on Friday.

Wing Commander Kuldip Vaghela wanted to see his dental surgeon friend’s appointment as V-C of Madhya Pradesh Medical Science University (MPMSU-Jabalpur).

National president of Dental Surgeon Association of India Dr Chandersh Shukla was so passionate to become vice chancellor of MPMSU that he and his friend did not hesitate to take the unusual route.

According to STF, Vaghela called upon Governor Lalji Tandon, posing as Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The STF arrested Vaghela for impersonating as Amit Shah while talking to Governor Lalji Tandon over phone. The guv is the Chancellor of MPMSU-Jabalpur, the university and governing body for all Medicine, Dental, Nursing, Paramedical, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani and Yoga colleges in the state.

According to ADG, MPSTF Ashok Awasthi, the process of selecting next Vice Chancellor of MPMSU was initiated in July 2019, as part of which the Governor had ordered the constitution of search committee to select the new MPMSU VC.

Shukla (who runs a clinic Dental World in Bhopal) too applied for the MPMSU V-C post for and appeared in the interview before the Search Committee on January 3, 2020. “On January 3, he (Dr Shukla) contacted his friend Vaghela for using some high contact/office to facilitate his appointment as VC. Subsequently, Dr Shukla made a conference call to the MP Raj Bhawan on January 3.”

“During the call, Vaghela posed as Shah. He talked to the Tandon for facilitating his friend’s appointment as VC,” said Awasthi.

However, after the conference call, the Governor sensed some foul play and instructed his Raj Bhawan apparatus to get in touch with the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and verify whether the Union home minister had actually made the call to the Governor.

When the Raj Bhawan came to know that the call was made by an imposter, it lodged a complaint with MPSTF on Thursday and the STF immediately swung into action.

“Vaghela was arrested from Delhi on Thursday and his friend Dr Shukla was arrested from Bhopal. Both have been booked u/s 419 and 420 of IPC,” the ADG-MPSTF said.

Arrested duo was produced before a Special Court in Bhopal on Friday, after which the court sent the duo into three days STF custody for further questioning.


'Freedom of Internet is a fundamental right under Article 19': SC rebukes Centre

While delivering verdict on a batch of petitions on situation in J&K after abrogation of Article 370, Supreme Court said Kashmir has seen a lot of violence. The apex court also said that it will try to balance the human rights and freedoms with the issue of security.

Supreme Court while delivering verdict on petitions on situation in J&K after abrogation of Article 370 directed Jammu and Kashmir government to review all restrictive orders within a week.

"Temporary suspension of Internet, basic freedoms of citizens should not be arbitrary, open to judicial review. Internet suspension in J&K is to be reviewed. Freedom of Internet is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of free speech. Trade and commerce through Internet is protected under Article 19(1)(g) - fundamental right to conduct trade and commerce", Supreme Court observed.

The Supreme Court had on November 27 reserved the judgment on a batch of petitions challenging restrictions imposed on communication, media and telephone services in Jammu and Kashmir pursuant to revocation of Article 370. A bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and B R Gavai had heard the petitions filed by various petitioners including Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin.

The petitions were filed after the central government scrapped Article 370 in August and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Following this, phone lines and the internet were blocked in the region. The government has said that it has progressively eased restrictions.


Deepika Padukone should stay in Mumbai and dance: BJP MLA on actress' JNU visit

Harda: In a veiled attack at actor Deepika Padukone for visiting Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Leader of Opposition Mohan Bhargava on Thursday said that "heroines should be in Mumbai and dance".

In reply to a question on Deepika's visit to JNU, the BJP leader said: "Heroine should dance in Mumbai. Why should she go to JNU? I do not know. There are many people like her.


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If they want to do politics then you should enter politics and contest elections." Bhargava also referred to former JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar who lost Lok Sabha election to Union Minister Giriraj Singh in Bihar's Begusarai.


"Many have fought elections as well. He contested from Begusarai and came at third place," he said. Deepika Padukone's upcoming film "Chhapaak" which is based on an acid attack survivor, is releasing on January 10.

On January 7, the actor joined the protest at JNU after a masked mob entered the varsity campus and attacked the students and teachers with sticks and rods.