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AAP MP Bhagwant Mann in trouble, tenders an “unconditional apology”

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Aam Aadmi Party’s Lok Sabha member Bhagwant Mann’s video on social media showing details of his entry into Parliament House was widely condemned on Friday by Rajya Sabha members, who demanded strict action against him.

The proceedings in the upper house were stalled for the day, as ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members trooped near the Chairman’s podium shouting slogans and demanding Man’s dismissal from the house.

As soon as the house assembled, several BJP members including Kirit Somaiya, R.K. Singh and others including from the Akali Dal were up on their feet demanding action against Mann.

Mann on Thursday shot a video clip of his journey from home to parliament, including going past the various security pickets, and uploaded it on the social media, drawing flak from various quarters for putting Parliament security in peril.

The Speaker summoned Mann to her chamber to explain his position and said to look into the matter.

The AAP lawmaker later appeared before the Speaker.

The issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha also with members including Anand Sharma of the Congress) and Sitaram Yechury of the CPI-M maintaining that the issue amounted to breach of security and privilege of members of Parliament.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi too described the matter as serious and said the government and the Lok Sabha Speaker are seized of it.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said there is no doubt about the seriousness of the issue. However, as pandemonium continued for a while, Kurien adjourned the house till 12 noon.

Earlier, outside Parliament, Naqvi told reporters that “the circulation of such video footage was against parliamentary rules at a time when terrorists are looking for opportunities to attack”.

“Giving out such sensitive information and video footage of sensitive areas of Parliament is wrong.”

In the video that went viral, Mann is seen giving commentary as his vehicle crosses security barricades, while going to Parliament. “I’ll today show you something you would not have seen earlier,” Mann said at the beginning of the video.

Inside Parliament, he goes into the room where the process of selection of questions for the Zero Hour is done. As he describes the process, a security official is heard telling him not to take photographs. “I’ll not take photo… will maintain confidentiality,” Mann says in his reply.

B. Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal) said the matter was more serious than mere breach of privilege and security as he believed the video was not circulated “out of mere foolishness or ignorance”. “A separate committee must be set up by the Speaker,” he demanded.

He recalled that 13 people had laid down their lives protecting Parliament premises and members on December 13, 2001 when terrorists attacked the temple of democracy.

“The matter was so serious that Sonia Gandhi who was not present in the House then had called up the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and enquired about the incident,” Mahtab said.

Bhagwant Mann after that tendered an “unconditional apology” to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for posting a video on security zones in Parliament House premises.

“I have written to the Speaker tendering an unconditional apology,” Mann told reporters outside parliament premises and maintained that he had taken the video footage and circulated it on social networking sites “an-jaane mein”.

“I also have highest regard for this temple of democracy and did not want to jeopardise its security and dignity in any manner,” said Mann, who represents Punjab’s Sangrur constituency in the Lok Sabha.

He said he only wanted to tell viewers of how questions are sorted out by a system of lottery before they are taken up in the house.

Will the ‘righteous’ politician and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal pull up his MP, ahead of Punjab polls? We’ll have to wait and watch.

Wefornews Bureau

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Delhi govt to provide essential amenities to farmers at Nirankari Maidan

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farmers at Sindhu border

New Delhi: Farmers from Punjab have been allowed to demonstrate at the Nirankari grounds in Delhi’s Burari to protest against the Centre’s agricultural laws. At the same time, the Delhi government has decided to provide basic facilities to the farmers at Nirankari grounds, beginning with drinking water.

The Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi has asked its MLA and Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman Raghav Chadha to take stock of the situation by reaching Burari.

The Delhi government said in a press briefing, “Raghav Chadha, Vice Chairman, Delhi Jal Board, will visit the Nirankari grounds, Burari on Friday evening. Proper arrangements for drinking water will be made for farmers who are protesting at the approved protest site. Water tankers are being deployed here. To oversee the preparations, DJB vice-president Raghav Chadha is going to the dharna site.”

Chadha told IANS, “Farmers have a right to speak and cannot be treated like criminals. Our farmer brothers and sisters are reaching Delhi from all corners of the country. They have come here to protest the black farm laws passed by the Modi government. Now they have got permission to come to the Nirankari grounds. Whatever they need here, whether it is water, food, toilets, the Arvind Kejriwal government will provide it. All the officers and MLAs are keeping an eye on the arrangements.”

The Delhi Police had sought permission to convert nine stadia in Delhi into temporary jails. However, the Kejriwal government has rejected the proposal. The Delhi government has issued an official statement supporting the farmers. The state government says the farmers demands are justified and they have the right to protest.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “The Centre’s three farming laws are anti-farmer. Instead of withdrawing these laws, farmers are being prevented from protesting peacefully, water canons are being turned on them. This atrocity on farmers is completely wrong. Peaceful demonstrations are their constitutional right.”

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Farmers refuse to leave Sindhu border as agitation ‘could weaken’

The meeting of the farmers at the Sindhu border was still going on on Friday evening.

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farmers at Sindhu border

New Delhi, Nov 27 : Even as the Delhi Police on Friday allowed farmers from Punjab, Haryana and elsewhere to hold a peaceful protest against the controversial Agriculture Bills at the Sant Nirankari ground in the capital’s Burari area, the farmers refused to leave Delhi-Haryana Sindhu border fearing that their protest would be “weakened”.

Delhi Police made the announcement after using tear gas shells and water cannons on the protesting farmers, and undertaking a baton charge to disperse them as they tried to enter Delhi.

Gurpreet Singh, a farmer associated with Bhartiya Kisan Union Ekta in Punjab, told IANS, “We are holding talks with our representatives as of now to decide whether we will got to Burari ground or not.”

Singh said that most of the farmers don’t want to go at Burari ground and that is the reason why they are all are sitting here.

“Till the time the government does not accept our three demands, we will sit here,” he asserted.

Singh said that the farmers have been demanding the revocation of the three Agriculture Bills that were passed in Parliament in September this year, guarantee the minimum support price to farmers and roll back the fine on stubble burning.

Another farmer said that All India Kisan Khet Mazdur Sangthan’s leadership are also sitting on the Sindhu border here and they too don’t want to go to Burari for protests.

The meeting of the farmers at the Sindhu border was still going on on Friday evening.

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Kangana bungalow demolition smacks of malice, says Bombay High Court

Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the BMC and urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal

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Kangana Ranaut

Mumbai, November 27: The Bombay High Court on Friday has said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) action of demolishing part of Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow here smacks of malafide and was done to cause substantial loss to the actor, and quashed the demolition order.

The court also said it did not approve of authorities using “muscle power” against any citizen.

A division bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla noted that the action undertaken by the civic body left hardly “any manner of doubt” that it was unauthorised.

The bench was hearing Ranaut’s petition challenging the demolition carried out by the BMC at her Pali Hill bungalow in suburban Bandra on September 9.

“The civic body has proceeded to act wrongfully and illegally against the rights of a citizen,” the bench said.

Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the BMC and urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal.

On the issue of compensation, the bench said it was appointing a valuer who would hear the petitioner and the BMC on monetary damages caused to her due to the demolition.

“The valuer shall by March 2021 pass appropriate orders on compensation,” the court said.

The civic body had opposed the plea and said the actor had brazenly and unlawfully carried out extensive alterations and additions to the bungalow in breach of its approved plan.

Ranaut had filed the petition on September 9 when the demolition process was initiated by the BMC. The court had in an interim order on September 9 stayed the demolition work. PTI

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