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Disqualify 20 AAP MLAs in office-of-profit case, Ajay Maken urges CEC

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ajay maken
Ajay Maken,  Delhi Congress President (File Photo)

New Delhi, Jan 11: Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken on Thursday met Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti and demanded the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs at the earliest for allegedly holding offices of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries.

Maken also submitted a representation on the matter to Joti.

After the meeting, a Delhi Congress leader said that Maken apprised the CEC of the delay in the matter since it dates back to May 2015.

“The CEC assured to look into the issue,” he said. The meeting between Maken and the CEC lasted around 20 minutes.

The Congress had on June 9, 2016, moved the poll panel to seek disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs and has been pursuing the matter ever since.

Subsequently, the proceedings were dropped against Jarnail Singh after he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to contest the Punjab Assembly polls in February 2017.

In October last year, the EC had issued a notice to the Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers for an explanation.

In June 2017, the EC rejected the MLAs pleas to drop the “office of profit” case against them and ruled that the disqualification proceedings against them will continue.

In March 2015, the AAP government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, to exempt the posts of Parliamentary Secretary from the definition of office of profit with retrospective effect.

However, then President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give assent, following which the appointments were set aside by the Delhi High Court in September 2016, which declared them illegal since the order had been passed “without concurrence/approval of the Lt Governor”.

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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