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Farm loan waiver will be announced soon: Kumaraswamy

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Bengaluru, June 14 : Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday asserted that his government was committed to fulfilling the assurances made during the election campaigning and will soon announce farm loan waiver that would benefit farmers.

“Let there be no confusion on farm loan waiver. I am fully committed to the loan waiver. I want to ensure it is done scientifically benefitting maximum farmers. I am working on the modalities and will announce it shortly,” tweets Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy.

The JD(S) leader said he is ready with the guidelines on farm loan waiver,”I have clearly said that I will waive farm loans. I had promised during election that I will do it in 24 hours. That is true. At least you should give time to breathe. Today, I have limitations.”

“If I don’t do it, have clearly said that I will retire from politics and I will resign as chief minister. Why cannot you wait for some time?,” Kumaraswamy told reporters.

Karnataka’s JD-S-Congress government would soon set up a sub-committee to draft a common minimum programme (CMP) from the poll manifestos of the alliance parties, said Coordination Committee chairman Siddaramaiah on Thursday.

“The sub-committee, comprising three Congress leaders and two Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leaders will draft the CMP for implementation over the next five years,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here after chairing the committee’s first meeting here.

The coordination committee comprises of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Kunwar Danish Ali of the JD-S, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, Congress’s state unit in-charge K.C. Venugopal and Siddaramaiah of the Congress.

Admitting that it would be difficult for the coalition government to implement all the promises made in the manifestoes of the both the parties for the assembly elections, Siddaramaiah said the sub-committee would draft the CMP by selecting the promises listed in both the manifestoes.

“As the manifestoes of both the parties were made separately and released before the election, the sub-committee would list the promises that are common and feasible for implementation by the coalition government over the next five years,” said the former Chief Minister.

Ali, however, hastened to clarify that the pro-poor and social welfare schemes of the previous government would continue, especially the free rice/wheat, free milk to students in state-run schools and health insurance to farmers and poor families.

“The CMP will be implemented through budgetary allocations and its details will be spelt out in the state budget Kumaraswamy will present next month, as he also holds the Finance portfolio,” he told reporters.

The coordination meeting also discussed the appointment of heads of state-run boards and corporations, transfer of officials, when to schedule the monsoon session of the state legislature and proposals to be included in the budget of the new government.

As agreed by the alliance partners, Congress legislators will head two-thirds of boards and corporations and the JD-S legislators will head the remaining one-third.

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HAL-built light combat helicopter completes weapon trials

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HAL , Light Combat Helicopter; Image : ANI , Sanjay Simha

Bengaluru, Jan 17: The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) developed by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has successfully carried out air to air missile firing on a moving aerial target and is ready for operational induction, the defence behemoth said on Thursday.

Other weapons on the LCH include a 20mm Turret gun and 70 mm Rockets, the firing trials of which have already been completed last year.

“During the tests conducted at integrated test range, Chandipur Odisha recently, Wg Cdr Subash P John, VM (Retd), test pilot, Col Ranjit Chitale, (Retd), Flight Test Engineer from HAL and Gp Capt Rajeev Dubey, test pilot from the IAF, executed a flawless mission and achieved a direct hit on the aerial target, destroying it completely,” said HAL spokesperson Gopal Sutar in a press statement.

According to the HAL, LCH is the only attack copter in the world which is capable of operating at altitudes as high as Siachen glacier.

The helicopter is equipped with helmet mounted sight and a forward looking infrared sighting system, allowing its pilots to detect and attack any target on ground or in the air.

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President Ram Nath Kovind offers prayer at Kumbh

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Prayagraj, Jan 17: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday offered prayers at ongoing Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Ram Naik were also present.

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Supreme Court allows Mumbai dance bars to reopen with restrictions

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Mumbai, Jan 17: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed dance bars to reopen in Mumbai but imposed regulations such as barring CCTV surveillance.

It said there was no need for CCTV surveillance inside dance bars as it violates privacy.

The apex court said that the performers could be tipped, but showering of cash and coins will not be allowed inside the bars.

The court added that Maharashtra cannot ban dance bars by taking recourse to regulating them, noting that since 2005 no licence has been issued.

“Since 2005 till date, no licence has been issued. There may be regulation but that does not amount to total prohibition,” said a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan.

Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Sikri said that there could be no segregation of dance stage and that of drinking and eating space as it struck down the provision for “mandatory” installing of CCTV cameras in the dance bars holding that it violates privacy.

The court upheld the definition of obscenity given in the State law saying that it was not vague.

Holding that those visiting the dance bar could give tips, the court said no to the showering of money during dance performances.

The court held as “unreasonable” the provision that says that a dance bar should be one kilometre away from religious places, hospitals and educational institutions.

However, it left it to the state legislature to take a call on the issue.

Striking down the provision that said that the owner of the dance bar should have a “good character” and no “criminal antecedents”, the court said: “There is no precise definition of what amounts to good character and criminal antecedents.”

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