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CBI faults Andhra for denying permission to act in corruption case

The central agency has accused Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary of non-cooperation and of sharing confidential inputs provided by CBI with others.



CBI Headquarters

Amaravati, Dec 1 : The CBI has taken a strong exception to the Andhra Pradesh government denying permission to carry out raids in a corruption case and leaking a confidential letter relating to it.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also found fault with the state using its anti-corruption agency to trap a central government employee.

The central agency has accused Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary of non-cooperation and of sharing confidential inputs provided by CBI with others.

The CBI issued a strong-worded statement late Friday night, hours after Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) trapped a central government official in Krishna district while he was allegedly receiving bribe from a trader on Friday.

This is the first confrontation between the CBI and the Andhra Pradesh government since the latter’s controversial order withdrawing general consent to the central agency to carry out raids and investigations into corruption cases in the state. In an order issued last month, the state government vested the powers of the CBI in the state with the ACB.

However, the state anti-graft agency claimed that the complainant had directly approached it.

M.K. Ramaneswar, working as superintendent in Central Tax and Central Excise (Central Board of Indirect Taxes) at Machilipatnam in Krishna district was caught red handed while accepting Rs 30,000 bribe from A.K. Lokesh Babu, a steel and cement trader.

“This is the first case on Central Government employees by ACB, AP after withdrawn the ‘general consent’ to CBI for registration and investigation of cases against central employees as per section 6(a) of Delhi Police Special EstablishmentA Act”, stated the ACB director general in a statement.

The CBI Visakhapatnam SP said in a statement that the CBI had received a written complaint from Lokesh Babu on November 28 against Ramneswar for demanding bribe.

The same day a top secret letter was sent to rhe Principal Secretary (Home), Government of Andhra Pradesh requesting him to issue specific consent to CBI to lay a trap.

“It was also requested to keep the information strictly confidential and not to share the information with any other party,” said the statement.

“However the Govt of AP did not issue the specific consent as requested by CBI, instead the details were shared by the Home Department with state ACB,” it added.

The ACB laid a trap on Friday evening against the above central government public servant by using the contents of the request letter.

“CBI deeply regrets such non-cooperation by the State Home Department in this matter. This will only make the fight against corruption more difficult for the anti corruption agencies and the mutual trust between the agencies will be vitiated. Corruption can be eradicated only through mutual cooperation, and trust”, the CBI official added.


Madhya Pradesh farmers hopeful of being ‘debt-free’ as loan waiver scheme kicks-off



Earth Climate

Bhopal, Jan 22 : A week after the launch of the loan waiver scheme in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress government claims 19.54 lakh farmers have filed their applications in the six days till Sunday.

While the opposition BJP has been calling the “Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana” a trick to cheat the farmers, the question is how the farmers of the state perceive the entire exercise.

Kailash Chaudhary, a farmer from Mandsaur district’s Babulda village, said: “About two years ago, six farmers sacrificed their lives for their rights in Pipliya Mandi. This is the beginning of the victory of their fight.”

“Forms are being filled for waiver of loans up to Rs 2 lakh. We feel that the government is taking our demands seriously,” Chaudhary told IANS.

Mandsaur was the centre of farmers’ agitation in 2017 when six farmers were killed in police firing in June, 2017. After the incident, the farmers’ movement had taken over the whole state, which then spread to the whole nation.

Farmer’s leader Kedar Sirohi said: “Farmers in different parts of the state are excited about the loan waiver. They are filing applications in large numbers.”

“To ensure they don’t face any difficulty in filing applications, leaders and workers of farmer organisations are helping them. Government officials is also alert to help out the farmers. Colour coding of application forms has made it easier for farmers to fill out the applications,” he said.

According to official figures, out of the 19.54 lakh forms filed till Sunday, around 60 per cent were green forms, 35 per cent were white forms and 5 percent were pink forms. The farmers are hopeful of becoming debt-free through this exercise.

As per the scheme, the farmers of the Aadhaar seeded list will have to submit green applications and the farmers of non-Aadhar seeded list will have to submit white coloured applications. Farmers have to submit a pink application to file an objection or claim against information provided in the green or white list.

However, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been accusing the Congress of misleading the farmers and terming the scheme a trick to cheat them.

Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said the Congress promise of a loan waiver won’t be fulfilled by a mere announcement.

“The Chief Minister (Kamal Nath) and Congress leaders are saying they have fulfilled their promise of loan waiver to the farmers. But the promise has not yet been fulfilled. An announcement does not mean fulfillment of the promise,” he said, adding the Congress was misleading the farmers.

Congress spokesperson Syed Jaffer responded that 55 lakh farmers will get their loans waived of under the scheme, for which the due process needs to be followed.

“No matter what charges the BJP makes, the truth is that farmers are happy and they trust that the Congress is fulfilling the promise that they made to them,” he said.

“Those farmers who are in debt, neither are they now receiving notices from the banks nor is their property being seized. Under BJP rule, farmers had to go to jail and lose their property just for not paying their power bills,” Jaffer told IANS.

Calling the scheme pro-farmer, farmer leader Shiv Kumar Sharma told IANS that political parties were creating doubts about the scheme.

“Farmers were reeling under debt which had increased manifold over the last one-and-a-half decade. Now they are getting waiver of up to Rs 2 lakh. The government is new and one should wait before making adverse comments,” he said.

Kamal Nath had signed the farm loan waiver file soon after taking oath as the Chief Minister. The filing of forms for the waiver started from January 15 and will continue till February 5.

According to the government, farmers will start getting the money in their loan accounts from February 22.

The Chief Minister had said that the scheme would benefit around 55 lakh farmers by waiving their loans worth Rs 50,000 crore.

(Sundeep Pouranik can be contacted at [email protected])

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BJP accuses TMC of vandalising posters ahead of Shah’s rally



Amit Shah BJP

Malda (West Bengal), Jan 22 (IANS) The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers of vandalising posters and decorative gates ahead of party chief Amit Shah’s rally here.

“Gates, welcome arches, posters, cut-outs, festoons have been vandalised ahead of our national president’s rally. Gates have set on fire. Vehicles carrying our supporters are being stopped in many places,” state BJP President Dilip Ghosh said.

BJP supporters and activists were threatened and harassed so that they could not attend the programme, he alleged.

“Despite all these, our supporters are active and the process of ‘paribartan’ (change) has been started,” he added.

After high drama over denial of permission for facilitating the landing of Shah’s chopper in Malda, the state’s BJP leadership said that they finally received the clearance at two places in the district.

The BJP received permission to land the chopper at the helipads in Golden Park Hotel here and the one used by the Border Security Force in Malda district.

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Himachal Pradesh: 26 injured after tourist bus skids off road in Bilaspur



bilaspur bus accident
Photo Credit- ANI

Himachal Pradesh, Jan 22: At least 26 people were injured after a tourist bus skidded off the road near Swarghat area in Himachal Pradesh’s Bilaspur district on Monday.

The 18 injured people have been shifted to the hospital in Nalaghar in Solan district.

Other 8 people who were seriously injured were shifted to PGIMER at Chandigarh.


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