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CAG report to rock Kerala Assembly, session from Monday

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Thiruvananthapuram, March 1 The 27-day Assembly session of the Kerala Assembly beginning from Monday is all set to witness heated exchanges between the ruling and opposition benches over a damning CAG report on state police.

The 2013-18 CAG report was presented last month in the Assembly by the Left government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The report talks of missing guns and cartridges, misuse of funds, and diversion of funds.

State police chief Loknath Behra’s name too has cropped up in the report that points to alleged collusion between Keltron, a state public sector company, and police in the latter’s purchases.

Since the controversy over the report broke out, the opposition has been demanding that Vijayan too be brought under a fresh probe. But neither Vijayan nor Behra has said a word about the CAG report, despite frequent opposition outbursts.

In an indication of what can be expected in the session, on the opening day itself about two dozen starred and unstarred questions on the CAG report have been listed. The 19th Assembly session ends on April 8.

The Congress-led opposition is likely to point out to the past stands of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, especially Tourism Minister for Kadakampally Surendran who had led numerous protests in 1994 after a CAG report indicted then Chief Minister K Karunakaran in the now infamous palm oil import case, which is even now under judicial scrutiny.

Surendran then had glorified the CAG, but has cried foul ever since the present report indicted the present LDF government.

All eyes will also be on Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan. The opposition — during the session that ended last month — had turned against the Speaker for allegedly playing hide and seek with the Vijayan government.

“I think I have good relations with the opposition, even as I know I should not expect accolades all the time from them,” said Sreeramakrishnan.

Meanwhile, sources said that the DGP Behra has approached Chief Minister Vijayan to seek permission to initiate a thorough probe at the police headquarters here to find out if any official was responsible for numerous leaks to the media on what’s happening in his office.

India

Chidambaram hails decision to skip Ganesh fest amid Covid pandemic

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi, July 1 : After it was announced that the iconic Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh idol in Mumbai will not be established during the upcoming 11-day Ganeshotsav starting August 22 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday hailed the decision taken by the organisers.

“I congratulate the organisers of the annual Ganesh festival for the decision to call off the celebrations this year and instead organise a plasma donation camp over the 11 days,” Chidambaram said in a statement.

Earlier, while announcing its decision to cancel this year”s annual event that draws unprecedented crowd each year, the Lalbaugcha Mandal informed that instead of celebrating the Ganesh festival, it has decided to celebrate it as a health festival. Apart from organising blood donation camps and running a campaign for plasma donation, it has also decided to donate Rs 25 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ganesh idol at Lalbaugcha in Mumbai’s Parel area is considered to be the tallest in the city and is among the biggest crowd-pullers.

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Congress slams eviction notice to Priyanka Gandhi

He said, “the land was to be vacated from the Chinese but government chose to vacate a house in Delhi.”

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

New Delhi, July 1 : Congress leaders have reacted sharply on the eviction notice served to party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra though sources close to her said she will comply with the notice.

The government on Wednesday asked Priyanka, daughter of interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, to vacate her government accommodation at 35, Lodhi Estate here within a month as she is no longer on the list of protectees of the Special Protection Group (SPG).

Jitin Prasada, Congress working committee member said, “I fail to understand the timing of the government”s actions however Priyanka Gandhi is on a mission to fight and work for the people of UP and is unfazed and not bothered by these diversionary tactics.”

Another Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said it’s unfair and quoted former Prime Minister IK Gujral that ruler should be large-hearted.

He said, “the land was to be vacated from the Chinese but government chose to vacate a house in Delhi.”

Congress leader Vishwanath Chaturvedi said this is a new low in politics and the Modi government has insulted a “daughter of a martyr”. Congress leader Naseeb Pathan demanded that newly elected member in Rajya Sabha KC Venugopal should resign and Priyanka Gandhi should be sent to Rajya Sabha.

Secretary AICC Dheeraj Gurjar said “those who could not evict Chinese are bent on evicting Priyanka Gandhi , remember Indira Gandhi too was evicted but later on those responsible had to lose their seat.”

The government in an order said that it has cancelled the accommodation allotted to Priyanka with the direction to vacate the house within one month.

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Priyanka to vacate 35 Lodhi Estate bungalow within time

The government has maintained that she is not entitled to a government accommodation, but the Congress sees it as an act of revenge after Priyanka Gandhi started taking the government head on.

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Priyanka Gandhi Congress

New Delhi, July 1 : After being served an eviction notice by the government here on Wednesday, sources close to Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi said she would vacate the house within the stipulated time.

“The government had earlier withdrawn the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover, which was necessary given the security threat as her father and grand mother (both Prime Ministers) were assassinated,” sources said.

The struggle against both (Narendra) Modi and Yogi (Adityanath) would go on, a source said and added, even Indira Gandhi had to go through such phases.

The government has maintained that she is not entitled to a government accommodation, but the Congress sees it as an act of revenge after Priyanka Gandhi started taking the government head on.

The government on Wednesday asked Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of party chief Sonia Gandhi, to vacate her government accommodation of 35 Lodhi Estate within a month as she was no longer in the list of Special Protection Group (SPG).

In its order, the government said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had informed vide its communication dated June 30 that Priyanka Gandhi had been assigned ”Z plus” security with the CRPF cover on all-India basis, which did not have any provision for allotment or retention of government accommodation.

“In view of this, she is no longer entitled a government accommodation and her allotment has been cancelled by the Directorate of Estate on July 1, 2020 with the direction to vacate the house within one month,” the order said.

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