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BJP’s only grievance is why tapes were recorded: Congress

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He alleged that everyone has now seen the layers coming out “exposing direct links” of the BJP in fomenting political crisis in Rajasthan and trying to admit its role in the murder of democracy. Khera said, “Their only grievance is why the tapes were recorded. Was it legal?”

Citing an example, Khera said, “It’s like a murderer saying that a witness, who saw the murder being committed and went to police to complain, violated the privacy.”

Slamming the BJP, he said, “The entire shamelessness of this admission is very shocking, they are not worried about the fact that they were caught red handed but they are worried that they were being recorded and now they are raising questions about its legality.”

Khera’s remarks came shortly after BJP’s Sambit Patra in a press conference denied allegations of horse trading in Rajasthan.

Patra also alleged that the desert state was witnessing an “indirect emergency” and demanded a CBI probe into the phone tapping matter, to ascertain whether it was done or SOPs were followed.

Referring to the FIR lodged by the Rajasthan’s SOG to probe horse trading in the state, Khera said that a case was lodged on the basis of some audio tapes of purported conversation of BJP leaders.

He further said that a team of SOG went to Haryana’s Manesar on Friday night to collect the voice samples of ministers and MLAs heard in these tapes. “But for the first time in the history, the police of another state blocked the Rajasthan SOG team from collecting the voice samples and quietly ensured that all the MLAs escaped from the back door of the hotel,” he said.

Firing salvos at Sachin Pilot, who was sacked as Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan Congress chief three days ago, Khera asked, “What is the reason that Pilot trusts Haryana Police more than Rajasthan Police? On one hand celebrated lawyer close to the BJP are trying to prove in the court of law that Pilot and MLAs are part of the Congress.

“While on other hand, these MLAs take protection from Haryana Police and under that protection they escape from Rajasthan Police who had gone to take the voice samples,” he said.

Health

Karnataka rejects probe into COVID purchases, Oppn walks out of House

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Yediyurappa Karnataka

Bengaluru, Sep 23 : After the opposition demand for a judicial inquiry into procurements made during the COVID-19 pandemic was rejected, opposition Congress lawmakers led by Siddaramaiah walked out of the Assembly in protest on Wednesday.

Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar earlier asserted that there was no corruption in any of the procurements done during the pandemic.

Replying to a debate on alleged procurement scams pointed out by opposition parties in the Assembly, Sudhakar said that there was no deviation of funds or corruption. “So, where is the question of ordering a probe? The state government rejects all allegations made by the Opposition,” the Minister said.

He charged the opposition lawmakers with trying to derive political mileage which he said was demoralising officials and Corona Warriors.

According to him, ventilators procured by the Tamil Nadu government are transport ventilators used in ambulances. “Hence, it is not correct to compare our ventilators with those in Tamil Nadu. Ventilators of different specifications and quality are available for different prices; one should not get confused with different prices,” he maintained.

The Minister asserted that the market prices vary as per the demand, and the procurement is done on the basis of prevailing prices.

“There is no instance of corruption in the procurement of equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. Not even a single deviation has taken place and, therefore, there is no need for an investigation,” he asserted.

“When there was no domestic production, we procured three lakh PPE kits from China. Subsequently, we decided to purchase from local manufacturers, that too ICMR-approved kits. Similar procedures were followed by other states as well,” the Minister explained.

He said there was shortage of sanitisers in the state but after talks with distillery owners, the demand has since been met.

Earlier, several opposition leaders, including Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah accused the state government of indulging in rampant corruption during the pandemic.

“Be it the purchase of ventilators, beds, medicines, or PPE kits, every procurement was cleared only after a cut. Hence, it is necessary to order a judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court Judge,” he said, as other opposition members endorsed his views.

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Changing alliances set the tone for Bihar Polls

The BJP’s Bihar unit President Sanjay Jaiswal says the NDA has jumped into the poll fray with full force. The BJP-led NDA parties were contesting on the sole plank of development.

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bihar election

Patna, Sep 23 : Political parties in Bihar are busy chalking out strategies for the Assembly elections which are likely to be held in October-November this year though the Election Commission (EC) has not yet announced the poll dates.

In many cases, parties which were friends during the last elections will now be seen as opponents while foes in the last polls have joined hands.

In the last assembly elections, the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) fought against each other but in this election they are together in the NDA-fold.

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is likely to remain in the NDA this time as well but the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) which was with the NDA during the last elections has severed ties with it. Former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha’s party RLSP is now part of the Opposition Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) for the forthcoming election.

However, the RLSP and the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) are said to be upset as the seat-sharing formula in the Grand Alliance has not yet been decided.

Former MP Pappu Yadav has also announced to contest this year’s election through the Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik). Yadav has not yet aligned with any opposition party.

The BJP is enthused with the JDU coming back to the NDA. The importance of the Bihar elections for the BJP can be gauged from the fact that its National President J.P. Nadda has already reached Patna and is busy reviewing preparations for the polls.

The Left which contested the last elections alone is likely to join the Grand Alliance this time. There have been several rounds of talks between the Left and the RJD on contesting the elections together.

RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said the Opposition grand alliance should expand its outreach. Negotiations were on with many other parties, he added. Asked about the resentment over the seat-sharing formula, he said candidates who could guarantee a win were being selected.

The BJP’s Bihar unit President Sanjay Jaiswal says the NDA has jumped into the poll fray with full force. The BJP-led NDA parties were contesting on the sole plank of development.

In the last Bihar assembly elections, the JDU, the RJD and the Congress had contested together under the Grand Alliance and formed the government with absolute majority. Later, however the JDU broke away from the alliance and formed the government in Bihar by joining hands with the BJP.

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After taking VRS, Bihar DGP Pandey may take political plunge

Meanwhile, Pandey has denied all allegations levelled by Shiv Sena and other political parties.

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Gupteshwar Pandey IPS

Patna, Sep 23 (IANS) A day after taking voluntary retirement, speculation is rife that Bihars former Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey may begin his political innings. Though nothing has been finalised yet, Pandey says he will talk to people and plan his journey ahead.

Speaking to IANS on Wednesday, Pandey said that it was not necessary to join politics to serve the people. Pandey, who is active in social service, said after discussing with people, he will decide on the road ahead and then disclose his future plans.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, he said he was under pressure from the people of many districts in Bihar, including Jehanabad, Begusarai, Valmiki Nagar and Bagaha to contest the forthcoming assembly elections. Thousands of supporters from several places in the state, were in touch with him, he added.

Pandey came into the limelight for his vocal comments after the death of late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput who was born in Patna. After the Supreme Court endorsed the CBI investigation recommended by the Bihar government, Pandey had said that Rhea Chakraborty “does not have the aukat (stature)” to comment on the Chief Minister.

Following the VRS , Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut launched a sharp attack on Pandey, saying he had been carrying out a political agenda in the Sushant Singh Rajput investigation while holding the post of DGP Bihar. “IPS or IAS officers of the country should be fair and must not be influenced by any political party,” Raut had said.

Meanwhile, Pandey has denied all allegations levelled by Shiv Sena and other political parties.

“People are connecting my VRS with investigation of Sushant Singh Rajput and blaming me of taken political advantage of it. I want to say that the FIR was registered in Patna since Sushant’s old father could not travel to Mumbai. He was not satisfied with the Mumbai Police investigation. As DGP Bihar, it was my duty to help Sushant’s father.”

Following a sharp attack by Shiv Sena over Pandey’s retirement, the BJP has defended Pandey’s right to join politics if he so desires. Nikhil Anand, the chief spokesperson of BJP Bihar unit, said it was best left to Pandey. “I don’t know why parties like Shiv Sena are making a hue and cry over his VRS or joining politics. We live in a democracy and it is his democratic right. The opinion of BJP or any other political parties is not required,” Anand said.

Pandey has praised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Responding to a question he said, “Nitish ji is very strict in terms of administration and policing. He does not intervene in policing nor does he tolerate any outside interference in its functioning.”

Pandey, a 1987 batch IPS officer, took over as Bihar DGP last year. He was scheduled to retire in February 2021 but he took early retirement. Pandey, who has held the post of Superintendent of Police in several districts in Bihar, is renowned for his social work.

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