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Archive for January, 2017

Rahul Gandhi blames Badals for Punjab drug menace, names Capt. Amarinder Singh as Congress’ CM candidate

By indian express On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Sounding the poll bugle for the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi declared that Captain Amarinder Singh would be the party’s chief ministerial candidate. Launching a full-frontal attack against the Badals, Rahul blamed the ruling Akali Dal for failing to act against the drug problem ailing the state.  “Guru Nanak said ‘everything is yours, nothing is mine’ and the Akali Dal says ‘everything is mine,’” said Rahul addressing an election rally on Majithia. Rahul accused the Badals of “hurting” Punjab by distributing its resources among themselves. “After Badals came to power in Punjab, they took everything — Punjab’s water, energy and resources and divided amongst themselves and left nothing for the people of Punjab,” he said.

He also charged the Badals for doing little for Punjab farmers.  “Whenever a farmer sees clouds (badal), he becomes happy that there will be rain and his crops will be good, but that’s not the case in Punjab as Badals don’t give water in Punjab,” he said.

On the drug menace that has gripped Punjab in the last few years, Rahul said the Congress government, if elected to power, will enact a law that would “make everyone shiver at the first thought of drugs”. “Four years back, I said that 70 per cent youth are affected by drugs. Badals made fun of me. Now whole Punjab is saying what I had said,” Rahul claimed.  Rahul is on a three-day visit to Punjab, where he will hold joint rallies with Amarinder and Navjot Singh Sidhu in Jalalabad and Lambi. Rahul will also campaign in Rampura Phul, Talwandi Sabo and Bathinda Urban, besides Majthia on Friday. Punjab will vote on February 4 and the counting will take place on March 11.

SC refuses to entertain PIL for issuing guidelines to restrict transport of beef

By indian express On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for issuing guidelines to restrict transport of beef to states where slaughtering isn’t allowed. The apex court stated that it has already passed orders on measures to stop illegal inter-state transportation of cattle.

Around 36 beef dealers associations across Maharashtra had filed a petition in the top court challenging the ban on the slaughtering of cow last year. The dealers had asked the court to permit the slaughtering of cattle – bulls and bullocks, and out a ban on cows.

The petition challenged the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra Animals Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2015, that bans the slaughtering, possession, consumption and import of beef in the state.

Last year, the Maharashtra government had banned the slaughtering of bulls, bullocks and cows by amending the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1976, which was later challenged in the Bombay High Court. The Bombay High Court subsequently upheld the ban on slaughter in May.

SP, Cong haggle over seats in Amethi, Rae Bareli

By pti On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Lucknow, Jan 27 (PTI) Congress and Samajwadi Party are haggling over seats in Amethi and Rae Bareli,the parliamentary turf of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul.

Congress, which managed to get 105 of the 403 seats under the seat-sharing deal with the SP after hard negotiations, is in no mood to give up its claim over all the ten seats in Amethi-Rae Bareli.

Sources said the party was perturbed as none of the five candidates declared by its alliance partner earlier has been withdrawn by SP.

“SP had announced five candidates in these parliamentary constituencies before the alliance was sealed but since then no name has been withdrawan and local Congress leaders are especailly perturbed over the issue,” a senior Congress leader said here.

Though both the sides are more or less agreeable to a broad understanding that Congress will get 6 and SP 4, local leaders and workers are not ready to give up either Amethi or Gauriganj Assembly seats from where SP has already announced its candidates, he said.

Congress, which is looking for a major share, also wants freedom to choose its nominees rather than blindly following the “sitting-getting” formula.

“Giving tickets only on the basis of previous performance will only benefit rivals and we cannot afford to see reverses for failure to forsee them,” he said.

Without assessing the situation and winnability of each candidate before fielding them would be like helping BSP, he said, citing the example of Sareni in Rae Bareli.

SP has given ticket to its sitting MLA in Sareni but situation there has undergone a major change since 2012 and now even their supporters are against them, he said, apprehending that the seat could go to BSP in case the same candidate is repeated.

It is essential that both the alliance partners work towards assessing each others’ strong and weak points seat-wise or else it will cause more harm than benefit to the ideals for which both the parties have come together, he said.

SC to hear Jallikattu matters on Jan 31

By pti On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) The Supreme Court today said that it will hear all Jallikattu matters on January 31 after the Centre filed a plea seeking to withdraw the January 6 notification, allowing the bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra allowed all the applications related to Jallikattu to be filed and said the matter will be heard on Tuesday.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi mentioned before the bench that Centre has filed a plea seeking to withdraw the January 2016 notification.

Justice Misra said the appropriate bench which has heard and reserved the verdict will take up the matters.

The apex court has earlier said that it will be hearing the matter on January 30.

JD(U) not to contest Uttar Pradesh polls, says ‘don’t want to divide secular votes’

By indian express On January - 25 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday said that they will not contest the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election so as to ensure that the secular votes are not divided in the state. However, in a press conference held in Patna, the party also said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will not be campaigning for any candidate in the state. “Nitish Kumar will not campaign even if Akhilesh Yadav asks him to,” the party said.

Uttar Pradesh, along with four other states, is set to go to polls next month. The elections will be held in seven phases from February 11 to March 8. Counting of votes will take place on March 11, 2017. The incumbent Samajwadi Party, which witnessed a lot of turmoil in last few months, has formed an alliance with Congress ahead of the polls.

According to reports, RJD, which part of the ruling alliance in Bihar, had advised JD(U) against contesting in UP as ‘it may lead to confusion. In 2012, the party contested on 219 seats of total 403 but could not win on any seat. After its victory in Bihar, CM Nitish Kumar had expressed his enthusiasm to prepare for UP elections and said that they will start working to campaign in the state.

Trump to move on border security, immigration enforcement

By pti On January - 25 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Washington, Jan 25 (AP) President Donald Trump will begin rolling out executive actions on immigration, beginning with steps to tighten border security including his proposed wall along the US-Mexico border and other domestic immigration enforcement measures, according to two administration officials.

Later in the week, the president is expected to take steps to restrict the flow of refugees to the United States.

One official said the president was expected to roll out immigration measures over the next few days.

The officials insisted on anonymity in order to confirm the plans ahead of Trump’s official announcement. The president is expected to sign the first actions today during a trip to the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump campaigned on pledges to tighten US immigration policies, including beefing up border security and stemming the flow of refugees. He also called for halting entry to the US from Muslim countries, but later shifted the policy to a focus on what he called “extreme vetting” for those coming from countries with terrorism ties.

As president, Trump can use an executive order to halt refugee processing. President George W Bush used that same power in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Refugee security vetting was reviewed and the process was restarted several months later.

While the specific of Trump’s orders were unclear, both officials said Wednesday’s actions would focus in part on the president’s plans to construct a wall along the southern border with Mexico. He has insisted Mexico would pay for the wall, though the Mexican government has repeatedly said it would not.

Trump will meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the White House next week.

The Trump administration also must adhere to a decades-old border treaty with Mexico that limits where and how structures can be built along the border. The 1970 treaty requires that structures cannot disrupt the flow of the rivers, which define the US-Mexican border along Texas and 24 miles in Arizona, according to The International Boundary and Water Commission, a joint US-Mexican agency that administers the treaty

India, UAE ink defence, security pacts

By pti On January - 25 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Seeking to boost security collaboration, India and the United Arab Emirates today inked two pacts to enable cooperation in the areas of cyberspace, armaments, defence industries and transfer of technology.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Mohammed Al Bawardi, UAE’s Minister of State for Defence, exchanged Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of defence industry.

The agreement aims to establish cooperation in the identified fields of defence manufacturing and technology, including through studies, research, development, innovation and cooperation between public and private sector institutions of the two nations.

Under this MoU, the two sides will also collaborate in areas of armaments, defence industries and transfer of technology.

The second MoU exchanged between Parrikar and Shaikh Khalid bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Adviser and Chairman of the State Security Department, UAE, was aimed at technology development and cooperation in cyberspace.

It is noteworthy that in May last year, Parrikar’s visit to the Gulf country focused on widening conversation with the UAE military on defence and security issues.

Possibilities of Indian defence manufacturers selling military equipment to the UAE were also explored during Parrikar’s visit.

Parrikar had also inked an MoU on the Mutual Protection of Classified Information.

Bilateral defence interaction between India and the UAE has been witnessing a steady growth.

There have been regular high level exchanges at the level of service chiefs, functional level exchanges and military education exchanges between the countries.

The ships of the navies of both countries have regularly made port calls enhancing bilateral defence cooperation.

India and UAE also hold an ‘Annual Defence Dialogue’ to discuss the security and defence cooperation issues between the two countries.

Akhilesh shares stage with Cong in first joint campaign in UP

By pti On January - 25 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Lakhimpur Kheri (UP), Jan 25 (PTI) Sharing the stage with Congress in their first joint campaign, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today hit out at BJP, saying the saffron party will have to do an ‘ulta asana’ after people will vote against it in large numbers in the upcoming Assembly polls.

Akhilesh, who shared the dais with Congress leader Prem Prakash Agrawal, defended the alliance of the two parties, saying now the ‘bicycle’ (SP symbol) will run even faster as there is a ‘hand’ (Congress symbol) to help in the ride.

Samajwadi Party and Congress on Sunday sealed a pre-poll pact to contest the upcoming UP assembly elections, with the two parties declaring that while SP will have the lion’s share of 298 of 403 seats, Congress will contest the remaining 105.

“There is an ‘ulta asana’ in yoga, which is being propagated by BJP, but this time round, people will come out in large numbers to vote against BJP and make the party do ‘ulta asana’,” Akhilesh said, addressing an election meeting of his party in flood-prone Dhaurehra constituency here.

“See how have these people (BJP) misled us…We have already seen bad days by standing in long queues (because of demonetisation), now tell me where are the achche din,” he said.

“We felt the country will make progress but these people pushed it back by bringing demonetisation and statistics prove this…note ban which was brought to check corruption saw corruption also in deposits of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes…

“The entire country stood in queues…it was only the SP government which extended financial help to families of those who lost their lives in queues,” he said.

Attacking the BJP government for surgical strikes, he said several jawans were killed on the border later and questioned what help was extended to their families.

“It was the SP government which gave an ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh to their families…our government helped everyone…I appeal to people that the state elections are also going to decide the direction of the country and all should cast their votes judiciously,” he said.

The chief minister was flanked by SP national general secretary Ravi Prakash Verma, party district chief Anurag Patel, Dhaurehra SP candidate Yash Pal Chaudhary and the Congress leader.

“Till now, I was riding ‘bicycle’ (SP symbol) alone. Now that we have a ‘hand’ (Congress symbol) to help in the ride, the ‘bicycle’ will run even faster,” he said.

“SP does what it says and there is no difference between its words and deeds,” he said, exuding confidence that the party will get thumping majority after its alliance with Congress.

Mocking BJP, Akhilesh said its leaders lack even in common sense that money is not black or white, “rather transactions make currency black or white”.

“But the BJP government banned all high denomination currency causing trouble to everyone–traders, farmers, rural women,” he said. .

Fortress Washington braces for anti-Trump protests, New Yorkers march

By indian express On January - 20 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Washington turned into a virtual fortress on Thursday ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, while thousands of people took to the streets of New York to express their displeasure with his coming administration.

Some 900,000 people, both Trump backers and opponents, are expected to flood Washington for Friday’s inauguration ceremony, according to organizers’ estimates. Events include the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and a parade to the White House along streets thronged with spectators.

The number of planned protests and rallies this year is far above what has been typical at recent presidential inaugurations, with some 30 permits granted in Washington for anti-Trump rallies and sympathy protests planned in cities from Boston to Los Angeles, and abroad in cities including London and Sydney.

The night before the inauguration, thousands of people turned out in New York for a rally at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, and then marched a few blocks from the Trump Tower where the businessman lives.

The rally featured a lineup of politicians, activists and celebrities including Mayor Bill de Blasio and actor Alec Baldwin, who trotted out the Trump parody he performs on “Saturday Night Live.”

“Donald Trump may control Washington, but we control our destiny as Americans,” de Blasio said. “We don’t fear the future. We think the future is bright, if the people’s voices are heard.”

In Washington, police cars lined much of Pennsylvania Avenue, the parade route, as workers unloaded crowd control fences from flatbed trucks, erected barricades and marked off pavement with tape.

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said police aimed to keep groups separate, using tactics similar to those employed during last year’s political conventions.

TN to issue ordinance to ensure conduct of Jallikattu

By pti On January - 20 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

New Delhi, Jan 20 (PTI) In a bid to defuse the swelling street protests, Tamil Nadu government today said it will issue an ordinance to ensure the conduct of Jallikattu sport in a day or two and has submitted a draft of it to the Union Home Ministry.

After discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and consultations with legal experts, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam announced this morning that the state government will amend a Central act on Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to allow conduct of Jallikattu in the state with Centre’s backing and urged protestors across the state to withdraw their agitation following the likelihood of the bull taming sport to be held in a “day or two.”

Panneerselvam, who stayed back in Delhi yesterday to discuss the matter with legal experts and government officials, said the draft ordinance has been prepared and sent to the Union Home Ministry today, and after Centre’s approval, it will be sent for Presidential assent.

“I stayed back in Delhi yesterday and discussed with legal experts and senior government officials the matter of making amendments to Centre’s animal cruelty prevention act (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960) at the state level. On the basis of that it was decided to bring an amendment to the Act at the state level,” he told reporters here.

“It was also decided to issue an ordinance to make this amendment. Under the Constitution of India, this draft ordinance has to be sent to Union Home Ministry and on Centre’s recommendation it has to be sent to the President for his approval,” he said.

After securing a Presidential order, Tamil Nadu Governor can issue an ordinance on the matter, he said, adding, he had asked his senior officials to liaison with their Central government counterparts on the matter by staying put in Delhi.

Panneerselvam sounded confident of seeing the matter through as he recalled the Prime Minster’s assurance of support to any legal steps by his government to allow the bull taming sport in the state and said the ordinance will be issued in a day or two.

“As said by the Prime Minster, we will get full Central cooperation on this matter. So, with the ban about to be removed and Jallikattu likely in a day or two, I request the public, students and other organisations who have been protesting to withdraw their agitation,” he said, flanked by among others, state Animal Husbandry Minister P Balakrishna Reddy. .

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