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Biren Singh: From BSF barracks to Manipur’s CM 



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Imphal, March 15: Manipur’s new Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s first love was football, which took him to the BSF. After resignation, he embraced journalism. Finally, he chose politics as a career.

As a young boy in Heingang, about 15 km from Imphal, he proved his mettle as a footballer and got recruited in the Border Security Force.

He resigned from the BSF to start a vernacular newspaper “Naharol gi Thoudang” although he had no formal training and experience in journalism.

The newspaper was a hit.

In April 2000, Biren Singh’s press was raided by police and he was charged with sedition for publishing — what authorities alleged — news supportive of extremists. He was arrested.

That’s when he decided he needed to change tracks.

“The inner call for serving the people more effectively was so strong that I gave up journalism that I had come to love so much,” recalled Biren Singh, who on Wednesday took oath as the Chief Minister.

He contested the assembly election in 2002 on a Democratic Revolutionary People’s Party ticket and was elected comfortably. Since then, there has been no looking back.

He joined the Congress in May 2003 and became a minister. He retained his assembly seat in subsequent elections.

Apart from holding important portfolios, he was also the Manipur government spokesperson. He came to be seen as a troubleshooter for Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.

However, he soon revolted against Ibobi Singh and was seen as one of the dissidents who engineered a campaign for his ouster. Ibobi Singh sacked Biren Singh last year.

Biren Singh then quit the assembly and the Congress and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on October 17, 2016.

The 56-year-old politician is widely admired for his friendly disposition and is popular, particularly among journalists.

Biren Singh admits he never dreamt of becoming the Chief Minister.

“People voted against corruption and excesses of all sorts in the 2017 assembly election,” he said after taking charge.

“These will be looked into as promised. The cases of 1,528 victims of fake encounters will be probed and the guilty punished.”

He brushed aside Congress claims that it should have got the first chance to form the new government since it is the single largest group in the new assembly.

“It is a numbers game in a democracy. We have physically shown to the Governor the support of 32 legislators in the 60-member assembly,” the new Chief Minister said.

By Iboyaima Laithangbam


KC Tyagi says, Cambridge Analytica has no links with JD(U) nor his son



New Delhi, March 22: Senior Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi on Thursday rejected any links with the Cambridge Analytica (CA).

Speaking to Media, he stated that JDU has no relation with Cambridge Analytics, neither has its CEO ever met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish nor me. In any case, JDU is a Socialist outfit and we stay away from such things, except for maybe Prashant Kishore ji helping us during last assembly polls.

There was only a work relation between my son Amrish’s company and Cambridge Analytics , there is no financial transaction or shareholding, everything is open to probe. JDU also has no links with this, neither did they promote us in 2010 polls”, he added.

KC Tyagi’s son Amrish Tyagi owns Ovelina Business Intelligence (OBI), which was Cambridge Analytica’s associate in the country.

OBI in association with CA parent company SCL Group had formed a firm, SCL India.

Meanwhile hitting out at Janata Dal (United), RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, said the name of the company coming out in this matter is in the BJP client list, run by KC Tyagi’s son.

“JD(U) General Secretary’s son is involved and JD(U) is saying that we do not know anything”, he further asserted.

The alleged involvement of the data analytics company and Facebook has erupted a massive political debate across the world as well as in India with a big war-of-words breaking out between the ruling BJP and main Congress.


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Congress hits out at BJP, says Sabse bade data chor macha rahe hai zyada shor




New Delhi, March 22: Lashing out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for levelling charges over the alleged data theft, Congress on Thursday said the ruling government has become a manufacturer of fake news.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the BJP Govt has become a manufacturer of fake news. Sabse bade data chor macha rahe hain sabse zyada shor”.

Taking a jibe the BJP-led government, he said, “Hitler had an associate called Goebbels, Narendra Modi has an associate called Ravi Shankar Prasad.”

His reaction comes soon after, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad retaliated his allegations of Congress’s links to political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) and claimed that the firm was involved in Rahul Gandhi’s social media campaign and there had been meetings too in this regard.

The minister, accepting full responsibility, said that CA had been managing the social media campaign for Rahul Gandhi and there had been meetings also in this connection.

“The Congress cannot run away from this fact. If the Congress maintains a conspicuous silence on such an important news of the involvement of a dubious social media company and does not counter it, then I am sorry. They don’t have any right to run the country,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday also, the Congress denied links to CA that has been accused of data theft to allegedly influence the electoral process.


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Death of 39 Indians in Iraq: Congress to move Privilege Motion against Swaraj



New Delhi, March 22: The Congress will move a Privilege Motion against EAM Sushma Swaraj for misleading the kin of the Indians killed in Iraq by the Islamic State.

Speaking to media, Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said: “We are going to bring a Privilege Motion against the External Affairs Minister for misleading the families of the 39 Indians as well as the House”.

EAM on Tuesday confirmed the death of missing 39 Indians who were abducted by ISIS in June 2014.

Former MoS for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, too, had cornered the ruling government for giving false hope to the families of the hostages all these years.

“Giving falsehood to people is actually cruel and suggests a certain level of lack transparency on part of the government, Tharoor asserted.

Echoing on similar views, another Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday asked the Central and State governments to provide financial assistance to the families of deceased and job opportunities in government sector.

The thirty-nine persons, most of them hailed from Punjab, were working on projects near Mosul, when they were abducted during their evacuation.


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