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Congress Leader, Mallikarjun Kharge appointed as new PAC chairman

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Senior congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has been appointed the new chairman of parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Mr Kharge replaces Congress leader K V Thomas whose term ended last month.

PAC is the oldest Parliamentary committee which look after the accounts showing the appropriation of amounts granted by Parliament for expenditure of Government of India and such other accounts of autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies.

It also examines the Reports of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on various segments like Civil, Railways, Defence, Posts and Taxation. Apart from this, the Committee examines the CAG reports on performance appraisals of various centrally sponsored schemes.

The 21-member Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has 14 members from Lok Sabha and seven from Rajya Sabha.

This time there are only two fresh faces in the committee while the remaining members have been renominated.

The members of the PAC from Lok Sabha includes Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Abhishek Singh, Shivkumar C Udasi Subhash Chandra Baheria, Prem Singh Chandumajra, Nishikant Dubey, Gajanan Chandrakant Kirtikar, Ram Shanker, Kirit Somaiya, Anurag Singh Thakur, Bhartruhari Mahtab, Riti Pathak, Neiphiu Rio and P. Venugopal.

While from Rajya Sabha MPs are Naresh Agrawal, Ajay Sancheti, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Shantaram Naik, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Bhubaneswar Kalita and Bhupender Yadav.

Election

Hyderabadis give fractured mandate, TRS single largest party

Union Ministers Amit Shah, Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani, BJP President J.P. Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath campaigned for the BJP.

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Telangana CM KC Rao

Elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) threw up a hung house as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made big inroads to deny the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) a clear majority.

TRS emerged as the single largest party with 55 seats in the 150-member municipal body while the BJP won 48 seats, signalling its emergence as a dominant political force in the state.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), which retained 44 seats, has emerged as the kingmaker. TRS and MIM are likely to enter into a power sharing arrangement to rule the municipal body.

The Congress could win just two seats. Owning the responsibility for the party’s disastrous performance, state Congress chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy announced his resignation from the poston Friday evening.

The results came as a big shock to the TRS, which had won landslide majority in 2016 with 99 seats. With just four seats in the previous elections, the BJP improved its performance manifold.

Result in one division (Neredmet) was withheld as the number of ballots with ‘distinguished mark’ other than ‘swastik’ was more than the majority of TRS. The ruling party was leading by 505 seats but ballots with ‘distinguished mark’ other than ‘swastik’ was 544. The result will be subject to High Court order in the matter.

The counting day saw several twists and turns in the fortunes of the parties. Though TRS appeared set to retain power with lead in 70 divisions at around 4 p.m., the scene changed subsequently with the BJP racing ahead in divisions where it was locked in neck-and-neck battle with the TRS.



The newly elected corporators and 52 ex-officio members will elect the Mayor. Since TRS has majority ex-officio members, it required 65 corporators to have its Mayor. The party may now have to negotiate power sharing agreement with the MIM if the latter doesn’t extend unconditional support. In 2009, when GHMC polls had thrown a similar verdict, the Congress had shared power with the MIM, leaving the post of Mayor to MIM for two years.

The post of Mayor this time has been reserved for woman.

Terming the results not to the expectations of the party, TRS working President K.T. Rama Rao said the party fell short by 20-25 seats. When asked about the possibility of an alliance with the MIM, he said the party would discuss all the issues and then take a decision.

Performing beyond its own expectations and making big inroads in the state capital, the BJP replaced MIM as the second largest party.

The saffron party fought the polls with all the might with top Central leaders and Union ministers campaigning for its candidates.

The party’s state chief Bandi Sanjay said that people have taught a lesson to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for his arrogance and corruption. He said despite all the unfair means adopted by the TRS, people gave their mandate to the BJP and they see it as the sole alternative to TRS.

Counting of votes cast in all 150 divisions began at 8 a.m. at 30 places in the city with Telangana State Election Commission deploying over 8,000 personnel.

The police made elaborate security arrangements in the city in view of the counting. Prohibitory orders and traffic restrictions were imposed around the counting centres.

The police in Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda have imposed ban on victory rallies for the next 48 hours.

Out of the total 74.67 lakh voters, 46.55 per cent had cast their votes in 149 divisions on Tuesday. There were 1,925 postal ballots.

Polling in one division was stopped due to discrepancy in ballot paper and re-poll was held on Thursday.

A total of 1,122 candidates tested their political fortunes. The bitterly contested elections saw a high-decibel campaign with the participation of several central ministers and top national leaders of the BJP.

Union Ministers Amit Shah, Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani, BJP President J.P. Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath campaigned for the BJP.

The campaign also saw no holds barred attack by political opponents. The promise by BJP leaders to change the name of Hyderabad to Bhagyanagar if the party was voted to power also sparked a row.

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Politics

RJD denied permission to stage protest at Gandhi maidan

It is a Tuglaki government’s rule in state which is making all possible efforts to suppress the voice of opposition parties and farmers of the country. We will not allow them to do so.”

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Tejashwi Yadav

Patna, Dec 5 : The Patna district administration has rejected the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) application for staging demonstration here at Gandhi maidan, in protest against the Centre’s farm laws, which have triggered massive outrage across the country.

RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Friday announced its support to the farmers protesting in and around Delhi seeking repeal of the three recent farm laws and decided to stage a dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue at Gandhi maidan on Saturday.

Kumar Ravi, District Magistrate of Patna told IANS that dharna inside Gandhi maidan is not allowed.

“Hence, we have rejected the application of RJD. We only allow an individual to pay respect at Mahatma Gandhi statue. For dharna, we have already allocated place at Gardanibagh locality.”

As denied permission of holding a protest, RJD leaders have started demonstration at the maidan’s gate.

RJD spokesperson Chitranjan Gagan said: “We have staged dharnas in the past. If the district administration can give us permission of political rallies which have a large magnitude, why we are being denied permission of holding a stir?

It is a Tuglaki government’s rule in state which is making all possible efforts to suppress the voice of opposition parties and farmers of the country. We will not allow them to do so.”

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Politics

Haryana Cong Seeks Special Assembly Session for No-trust Vote Against Khattar Govt

Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the ML Khattar government has lost the confidence of the people and the House, adding a Congress delegation will meet the governor soon to demand summoning of the House.

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Bhupinder s Hooda

The Congress in Haryana will seek the convening of a special session of the assembly to bring a no-confidence motion against the BJP-led state government, its legislature party leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Friday. Hooda said the ML Khattar government has lost the confidence of both the people and the House, and said a Congress delegation will meet Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya soon to demand summoning of the House.

When asked if some BJP MLAs were in touch with him, the Congress leader told reporters in Gurgaon, “I cannot disclose all things before you.” He said two Independent MLAs have already withdrawn support to the BJP-Jannayak Janta Party coalition and some JJP legislators have given statements against the government, while supporting the farmers’ protests.

“In the last session of the Vidhan Sabha, we had said the government should hold a discussion on farmers’ issues,” Hooda, who is Leader of the Opposition in the House, said. Now, the Congress Legislature Party has decided to meet the Governor and urge him to convene a special session of the Vidhan Sabha to discuss farmers’ problems, he said.

We will bring a no-confidence motion because the present government has not only lost the confidence of the people, but of the House. Independent MLAs Balraj Kundu and Sombir Sangwan had earlier withdrawn support to the BJP-JJP government, which completed a year in office over a month ago.

But Hooda claimed that some MLAs are playing a double role, making statements against the government but are continuing to support the government. This will make it clear who stands with the farmers, he said, referring to the planned no-trust motion. He said while farmers are on the streets, the JJP and some Independent MLAs continue to enjoy the fruits of power.

Hooda said when the assembly convenes, the Congress will also seek an amendment to guarantee the minimum support price (MSP) with punishment for those purchasing crops below it. At present, the Khattar government enjoys a comfortable majority in the 90-member State Assembly.

The BJP has 40 MLAs and its ally JJP 10. There are 31 Congress MLAs and one each from the Indian National Lok Dal and Haryana Lokhit Party. Seven members are Independents, out of whom five, including Power Minister Ranjit Singh Chautala, support the ruling combine.

Hooda said Khattar has insulted farmers by saying that those from Haryana are not part of the protest at Delhi’s borders. Not only this, one of his ministers rubbed salt on the wounds of farmers by saying the current agitation is foreign-funded. He should immediately apologise for his remarks, he demanded.

The 73-year-old former chief minister said he has not seen a bigger farmers’ agitation in his entire life. Thousands of farmers mostly from Punjab but many from Haryana are now protesting at Delhi’s borders, demanding the repeal of three agri-marketing laws enacted at the Centre in September.

Farmer unions say the new laws will lead to the dismantling of the MSP system, which the government denies. The Central government should immediately accept their demands, otherwise more problems may arise, Hooda said.

At a separate press conference in Chandigarh, Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja said if the Centre does not repeal the farm laws, her party will do so when it comes to power. She said those in JJP and BJP who are with the farmers’ should stop supporting the government.

She said the Congress will fight the December 27 municipal bodies’ elections in the state on its party symbol.

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