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AAP govt failed to spend 46% education budget: Congress

Lovely said, “The AAP government instead of improving the education standards helped contractors by white washing classrooms made during the Congress regime, to make it look new.”

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Subhash Chopra Congress

New Delhi, Jan 14 : With the Delhi Assembly polls less than a month away, the Congress accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of ruining the education sector and not spending 46 per cent of the education budget.

Addressing the media at the party office here on Tuesday, Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra and former Delhi Education Minister Aravinder Singh Lovely also released a post-mortem report on the Arvind Kejriwal government’s education sector.

“It was shocking and a matter of grave concern that 46 per cent of the Delhi’s education budget remained unspent, though Kejriwal has been claiming that his government’s education model was the best,” Chopra said.

On claims of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, also the Education Minister, the Congress leader said, “If the Delhi government education model was applied in other states, students there too will start leaving government schools in hordes.”

Chopra said the Kejriwal government “spent” more funds on advertisements than improving the government schools’ standards. “In the past four years, over 100,000 children have left Delhi government schools due to falling standards,” he said.

By dividing the students into two groups, the Kejriwal government had done injustice and created complex among children, he said.

Lovely said, “The AAP government instead of improving the education standards helped contractors by white washing classrooms made during the Congress regime, to make it look new.”

Voted to power, the Congress would order a probe into the corruption, he said.

On education during the 15 years of the Congress rule, Lovely said when the party came to power, the education budget was raised from Rs 866 crore to Rs 5,912 crore.

“They said in the last five years, the Kejriwal government’s education budget went up to Rs 26,577 crore. But of this, only Rs 12,243.06 crore was spent,” Lovely said.

“The Kejriwal government’s achievements were confined to newspaper advertisements, aimed at misleading the people,” he alleged.

The number of economically weaker section (EWS) students has come down from 25,000 to 19,879 in last few years, he added.

Election

Reply to plea challenging your election, Delhi HC tells Sisodia

Elections to the Delhi Assembly were held on February 8 and the results declared on February 11.

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Manish Sisodia

New Delhi, Feb 28 : The Delhi High Court on Friday directed Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and others to reply to a petition that sought the declaration of his election as an MLA from Patparganj null and void.

Petitioner BJP leader Ravinder Singh Negi sought quashing of Sisodia’s election on the ground of deliberate concealment of a criminal case in his poll affidavit.

Issuing direction for replies to Sisodia, Media Certification and Monitoring Committee and the Returning Officer, Justice VK Rao listed the matter for hearing on May 19.

“There is a deliberate concealment and non-disclosure of pendency of a criminal case in his affidavit filed before the election officer,” the plea claimed.

The petitioner also sought a court order to declare him elected instead of Sisodia, a senior Aam Aadmi Party leader.

The petitioner claimed that the Returning Officer had helped Sisodia and refused to cancel his nomination. Negi alleged that Sisodia also violated poll campaign rules.

Elections to the Delhi Assembly were held on February 8 and the results declared on February 11.

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BJP may ‘play a role’ in US poll, party top gun warns, then deletes

In the Howdy Modi event, PM Modi had used the phrase, ‘Abki Baar Trump Sarkar’.

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New Delhi, Feb 27 : Ever since the glitzy congregation at ‘Howdy Modi’ in the US last year there was a murmur, but now a senior functionary of the ruling BJP here has confirmed it with a tweet — India may “play a role” in the US Presidential election.

Though late on Wednesday minutes after the tweet was posted, it also was deleted, the man who posted it added “seriousness” to the matter.

That man was none other than B.L. Santosh, the national general secretary (Organisation) of BJP and among the top four influential members of the party.

BJP National General Secretary BL Santosh Tweet

After Democrat leader Bernie Sanders criticised US President Trump’s silence on the ongoing Delhi riots calling them an internal matter of India, Santosh spit fire.

He tweeted: “How much ever neutral we wish to be you compel us to play a role in Presidential election. Sorry to say so… But you are compelling us.”

That unusual and strongly worded tweet came in response to Sanders saying: “Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, ‘That’s up to India’. This is a failure of human rights.”

The senior BJP leader’s anguish is believed to have stemmed from making the Delhi violence look like a one-sided, anti-minority pogrom, than Sander’s rant at Donald Trump.

While addressing a press conference in Delhi, on the second day of his tour, the US President was asked many times, both about the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and the ongoing stir in North East area of Delhi. Speaking on the violence, President Trump had said, “As far as the individual attacks, I heard about it, but I didn’t discuss that with him (Modi). That’s up to India.”

Sanders, a left leaning democrat and a staunch critic of Donald Trump labelled the US President’s much publicised India visit that show rare bonhomie between PM Modi and him, as “failure of leadership”.

Sander’s barb, which was perceived by the BJP leader as against Indian government led by the BJP, comes in the wake of another Democratic presidential nominee — Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke out against the Delhi stir.

This is not the first time, Sanders hit out at Modi, either directly or indirectly. He criticised Modi just ahead of the “Howdy Modi” event that saw the two world leaders publicly bond. Though invited to the event, many Democrat leaders like Nancy Pelosi, and Brad Sherman had opted out of Modi’s mega show in Houston, citing prior commitments. At the end it turned out to be a Republican-dominated event, where Modi happily talked about ending Article 370 and Trump about “radical Islamic terrorism”. The entire stadium gave him Trump a standing ovation which seemingly did not go well with the democrats with a looming US presidential election.

In the Howdy Modi event, PM Modi had used the phrase, ‘Abki Baar Trump Sarkar’.

Now, with Sanders upping the ante, one of BJP’s most influential leader and increasingly seen as BJP President J.P. Nadda’s eyes and ears — Santosh’s public warning, though deleted, will surely not go unnoticed with the Democrats who have raised objections with Article 370, India’s decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir or the recent Citizenship Amendment Act.

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55 Rajya Sabha seats to go to polls on March 26

The prominent leaders whose term will end in April are Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Ramdas Athawale, Delhi BJP leader Vijay Goel, Congress veteran leader Digvijay Singh and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

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Parliament of India

New Delhi, Feb 25 : The Election Commission on Tuesday announced that polling for 55 Rajya Sabha seats set to be vacated in April will be held on March 26.

According to the election schedule announced by the Election Commission, 55 Rajya Sabha seats are falling vacant from 17 states. Voting will be conducted between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 26 and the counting of votes will take place at 5 p.m. on the same day.

The seats going to polls include seven seats from Maharashtra, five from Bihar, four in Odisha, six in Tamil Nadu, five in West Bengal, four in Andhra Pradesh, two in Telangana, three in Assam, two in Chhattisgarh, four in Gujarat, two in Haryana, one in Himachal Pradesh, two in Jharkhand, three in Madhya Pradesh, one in Manipur, three in Rajasthan and one in Meghalaya.

According to the election schedule, the last date for filing nomination is March 13. While the scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on March 16. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 18.

The Rajya Sabha seats that have fallen vacant include Home Minister Amit Shah and late BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s seats. After being elected the Lok Sabha MP, Shah resigned from the Rajya Sabha membership.

The Rajya Sabha MPs, whose tenure will end later this year, include BJP leader R.K. Sinha, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh, JDU leader Kahkashan Parveen, Ram Nath Thakur, BJP MP Prabhat Jha among others.

The prominent leaders whose term will end in April are Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Ramdas Athawale, Delhi BJP leader Vijay Goel, Congress veteran leader Digvijay Singh and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

At present, in the upper house of the Parliament, BJP-led NDA and other allies is 106 BJP has only 82 membersthe strength of the BJP-led NDA and other allies have 106 MPs, including BJP’s 82 members, well-short of the half-way mark in the 425-member Rajya Sabha.

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