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Dalits are replying to attacks, says Minister

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Ramdas-Athawale
Ramdas-Athawale (File Photo)

Hyderabad, Jan 11: Union Minister of State Ramdas Athawale on Thursday said Dalits were replying to attacks on them.

“You attack, we reply. You attack, we reply,” Athawale, the Minister of State for Social Justice and EmpowermentUnion Minister of State, said at a seminar at Osmania University here.

He was referring to the recent attack on Dalits in Pune who were celebrating 200 years of the victory of British troops over Peshwa Bajirao II’s Army in Koregaon Bhima. Dalits were part of the British troops.

“Some people attacked our community. We also replied. Sometimes, they are attacking but we are also replying,” he said but clarified that Dalits were not attacking anyone.

The Minister was addressing a seminar on ‘Ambedkar and Constitutionalism’ at Osmania University.

Athawale said Ambedkarites were not against any caste.

“We don’t want to quarrel with anybody. If you want to fight, go to the border and fight against Pakistan. Why do you want to fight your own countrymen?” he asked.

The RPI leader admitted that atrocities on Dalits were taking place but claimed this was not happening everywhere.

He said his party was supporting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) because the Modi government believes, respects and follows the Indian Constitution and Ambedkar’s philosophy.

Athawale said that Modi told the Parliament that the Constitution is the ‘dharmagranth’ (sacred book) for him and he became the Prime Minister because of the Constitution.

“BJP may have a different philosophy but Modi, who is the Other Backward Class (OBC) leader from Gujarat, believes in and follows the Constitution,” he said.

He said that those who do not believe in the Indian Constitution should leave India.

IANS

Election

Congress goes to Election Commission with E-tendering scam in MP

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VIVEK TANKHA

New Delhi, Sep 25 : The Congress on Tuesday alleged an e-tender scam worth Rs 30,000 crore in last four years in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and approached the Election Commission raising concern that it could impact the assembly elections in the state.

In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat, Congress leader Vivek Tankha alleged the people involved in the e-tender scam are close to state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the ruling BJP.

In his letter to Rawat, Tankha said, “It is billed as the e-tender scam and involves large-scale manipulation of the online procurement platform of the Madhya Pradesh government to allegedly favour a select few private companies in connivance with officers.”

“E-tenders of the estimated value of more than Rs 30,000 crore had been manipulated during the last four years in the state,” it said.

“The officers who purportedly manipulated the tendering process are perceived to be very close to the ruling party and especially to the Chief Minister,” it said.

In his letter, the Congress leader said that the matter came to light after a damning report was submitted by the Principal Secretary, Manish Rastogi MD of the MP State Electronics Development Corporation exposing the rot on May 5 this year.

“Even Chief Secretary Basant Pratap Singh was shocked by the findings of the report,” it said, adding that he ordered the economic offences wing to file an FIR against the delinquents inter alia for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, fabrication under the Indian Penal Code and for commission of cyber crimes including hacking and manipulation of electronic records under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The Congress leader also alleged that instead of promptly acting on the directions of the Chief Secretary, the state government “slept over the said directions for one month”.

“No effort to register a case or to take action for recovery of digital equipment, including seizing of servers, computers, hard disks, laptops, pen drives etc. was either initiated or attempted, offering ample time to the delinquents to tamper with/destroy evidence,” it said.

The Congress said a preliminary enquiry was ordered only on June 21 by the EOW of the state police.

The Congress also raised the question as to why the Managing Director who blew the lid off the scam was transferred. “Why has there been no punitive action against the beneficiary companies despite an internal inquiry pointing out the names of bidders who emerged as the lowest bidder by compromising e-procurement infrastructure?” it asked.

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Cities

Bengal town tension: ABVP burns Mamata’s effigy

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West Bengal School Violence

Kolkata, Sep 25 : The BJP’s students wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on Tuesday torched an effigy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and demanded resignation of state education minister in protest against the killing of two students in Islampur last week allegedly in police firing.

It also demanded a CBI probe into the killings.

ABVP activists assembled outside Swami Vivekananda’s ancestral home in north Kolkata’s Simla street and marched to the Dharamtolla crossing, where they were stopped by the police.

Some ABVP workers were allegedly injured when the police tried to disperse the agitators.

The police forcibly dispersed the crowd.

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Politics

Tejashwi mocks Sushil Modi over crime in Bihar

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Tejashwi Yadav

Patna, Sep 25: Bihar Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday assailed Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi for remarking that criminals should keep off crime during ‘pitri-paksh’ when Hindus pay homage to ancestors through food offerings in Gaya, a holy town in the state.

“Sushil Modi is shamelessly begging before criminals not to commit any crime in the next 15 days. Does he mean that later in the festive season they are free to do whatever they would like to do?” asked Tejashwi, RJD leader and former Deputy Chief Minister.

Two days ago Sushil Modi, who is also a senior BJP leader, appealed to criminals to spare the ‘pitri-paksh’ period from crime. “Other days, you (criminals) do something or the other, but keep away from such activity during the holy period,” he said.

A day after former Mayor of Muzaffarpur and his driver were shot dead by assailants using AK-47, Tejashwi attacked the state government saying AK-47 has become a weapon of choice for criminals in Bihar.

IANS

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