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Coal Scam: Former secy, 2 bureaucrats held guilty

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Former secy, 2 bureaucrats convicted in coal scam by CBI court

Delhi, 19 May: The special CBI court convicted former Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta and others in a coal block allocation case involving Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Limited (KSSPL).

Central Bureau of Investigation special Judge Bharat Parashar convicted Gupta, two former coal ministry officials K.S. Kropha and K.C. Samria, accused firm KSSPL and its Managing Director Pawan Kumar Ahluwalia, under various charges involving criminal conspiracy and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court is slated to pronounce quantum of sentence on May 22.

Chartered Account Amit Goyal who was also facing trial in the case was acquitted of all charges, by the Delhi court.

The court was hearing a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the allocation of Thesgora-B Rudrapuri coal block in Madhya Pradesh to KSSPL.

The CBI had lodged an FIR accusing the company and others of allegedly misrepresenting facts, including inflated net worth, to acquire the coal block.

Gupta, 69, was Coal Secretary for two years under the Congress-led UPA government before he retired in 2008. As the man who chaired a screening committee that cleared at least 40 cases of coal mining rights, he is accused of playing a leading role in the massive swindle dubbed the coal scam.

The former top bureaucrat was accused of not following a transparent auctioning system and causing losses worth crores to the taxpayer. He was accused in around eight cases.

Gupta had asked the court for a joint trial of the cases against him, citing his old age and precarious finances. But his petition was set asided as the court said the cases were at different stages.

Last year, he made headlines when he tearfully told a CBI court that he would rather face trial from inside jail than be out on bail since he could no longer afford his legal defence. He said that his “inner voice” had told him “god wants me to be in jail.” He later withdrew his application to cancel bail.

During arguments in court, Gupta had claimed that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had given the “final approval” in the case. The CBI, however, refuted his claim and said that Dr Singh, who was also holding the portfolio of Coal Ministry at that time, was “kept in the dark” and misled.

 Wefornews Bureau

Politics

LS Speaker accepts resignation of BSY, Sriramalu as MPs

Mr Yeddyurappa was representing Shimoga parliamentary seat while Mr Sriramalu was elected MP

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sumitra mahajan

New Delhi, May 22 : The Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has accepted the resignation of three sitting MPs from Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa and B Sriramalu – both BJP and the JD(S) lawmaker C S Puttaraju.

According to sources here the Speaker has accepted the resignation but a normal notification will be issued in a day or two.

Mr Yeddyurappa was representing Shimoga parliamentary seat while Mr Sriramalu was elected MP

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Eyeing 2019 battle cry, BJP seeks to play messiah for rural poor

The BJP chief clarified that the developmental measures should not be linked to the Parliamentary election due next year.

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Amit Shah

New Delhi, May 22 : Just as all actions and political realignments get fast paced eyeing the 2019 Parliamentary polls, the BJP on Tuesday launched a massive nationwide programme to reach out to the poor and said massive multi-pronged welfare measures are being undertaken by the Modi government to bring about drastic improvement in the conditions of the downtrodden.

Hum gaon ko samasyaon se mukh kar rahen haen…yeh ek naya soch hae (We are improving the conditions of the poor and bringing about drastic changes in the conditions of villages through multi-pronged programmes. This is a new vision itself)," BJP chief Amit Shah told a press conference at party headquarters – his second media interaction within 24 hours and three days since the fall of B S Yeddyurappa government in Karnataka.

He said 21,844 total villages were earmarked when seven nationwide welfare projects including Ujjwala, Saubhagya and Ujjala were launched from April 14 and till May 5, a total 16,850 villages were covered spread over 484 districts. He said the remaining villages in mostly in Karnataka and West Bengal where code of conduct was in force will be covered till next year.

The BJP chief clarified that the developmental measures should not be linked to the Parliamentary election due next year.

He said out of these 16,850 villages, no household is without electricity and no mother or her newborn has been left without vaccination. ‘For the first time, the country is witnessing a new yardstick of development where poor people do not have to queue up for redressal of their grievances but it is the government which is reaching out to them,’ he said.

In this context, Mr Shah said for the next year’s election, irrespective of political stand of various parties, the public mood will be in favour of Narendra Modi in any case.

‘Mahol toh Modi ke liye bana hua hae (Elections mood is set in people for the BJP and Modi). We will win with bigger margin.

Gas was provided under Ujjala Scheme, electricity under Saubhagya yojna, LED bulbs were given under Ujala scheme to the poor, he said. ‘Bank accounts were opened for 20,53,599 families, this is the achievement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,’, he said.

Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan is a unique experiment which was run between April 14 to May 5, this is the first time after Independence that such a programme has been undertaken, Mr Shah said, a day before the swearing-in ceremony takes place in Karnataka with Mr H D Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister.

As many 1,200 officers stayed overnight in villages which were taken in batches, he said.

He asked to play a proactive role in taking the programmes to the people.

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Digvijaya Singh appointed as Congress’ Madhya Pradesh coordination committee chief

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New Delhi, May 22: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday appointed senior leader Digvijaya Singh as the coordination committee chairman of Madhya Pradesh, where elections are due later this year.

While Jyotiraditya Scindia was named the chief of election campaign committee for Madhya Pradesh.

The other committees Rahul has formed are communications strategy committee, manifesto committee, and disciplinary action panel.

Apart from this, the Congress president named 20 district presidents for the state.

The term of the 230-member state assembly is ending in January 2019.

WeForNews 

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