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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley files nomination papers for Rajya Sabha polls

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Lucknow, March 12: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed nomination papers for upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. 

Accompanied by senior Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and ministers in the state cabinet, Jaitley filed the nomination papers in the central hall of the state assembly building.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named Jaitley and seven others for the eight seats.

The others leaders include Sakaldeep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, G.V.L. Narsimha Rao, Ashok Bajpayi, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar and Harnath Singh Yadav.

The ruling BJP has 28 extra votes and needs 37 to get its ninth candidate cruise through. It is already learnt to have won over four independents in the state assembly leaving it with just a few more votes needed for its 9th candidate.

The BSP has named former legislator Bhim Rao Ambedkar as its candidate while the SP has nominated actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan for the fourth time.

The verdict, if elections need to be held, will be announced on March 23.

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Covid positive staff at PAC meet sparks scare among MPs

Now, calls are being made to all those who attended the meeting, asking them to remain quarantined as a matter of precaution.

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adhir ranjan chowdhury congress

New Delhi, July 14 : In what could spell trouble for different Parliamentary committee meetings which have resumed after almost four months, all those who attended the Department Related Standing Committee for Public Accounts or PAC meet have been advised to go into quarantine after a staff who was present at the meeting tested positive for Covid-19.

Most members like Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury or DMK’s T.R. Baalu, who attended the meet and went back after meeting several people, have been informed about the official who was present at the PAC meet and later tested positive.

The meeting took place on July 10, while the official tested positive on Tuesday, which essentially means that the 18 MPs who attended the meeting carried on with their normal life for the last few days. The PAC has a total of 20 members, out of which 15 are from the Lok Sabha and 5 from the Rajya Sabha.

Among the 18 MPs who attended the meeting were the committee’s chairperson Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, senior DMK leader and former Union Minister T.R. Baalu, BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrashekhar, senior BJP leader Bhupender Yadav and Trinamool MP Sukhendu Shekhar Ray, among others.

Now, calls are being made to all those who attended the meeting, asking them to remain quarantined as a matter of precaution.

On Tuesday evening, Rajeev Chandrashekhar tweeted, “Ok, so I came to Delhi. Attended Parliamentary Committee meeting on 10th. Turns out one staff of Committee secretariat has tested COVID positive today. So I am headed to 7 days quarantine.”

With the gradual resumption of different committee meetings, the government is exploring the possibility of convening a short Monsoon Session of the Parliament.

Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have explored all the possibilities, including using a substitute venue like Vigyan Bhawan, to ensure seating with “do gaaz ki doori”, but none were big enough to accommodate the entire Parliament together.

With this incident, many parliamentarians believe that the fate of other parliamentary committees and even the Monsoon Session has now become uncertain.

Earlier, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had complained about thin attendance, arguing for a virtual meeting, which both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have turned down.

Significantly, on Tuesday, two key BJP leaders — MoS Jitendra Singh and party General Secretary Ram Madhav — went into self quarantine after BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir chief Ravinder Raina tested positive for coronavirus.

Just two days back, Raina had accompanied both the leaders to offer condolences to the family of Wasim Bari, a local BJP leader who was killed along with his father and brother by terrorists in Bandipora town in north Kashmir.

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It’s raining resignations in Rajasthan Congress after Pilot’s sacking

High alert has been sounded in Gujjar-dominated areas in Dausa, Ajmer, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur and Bharatpur to avert any untoward incident.

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Sachin Pilot

Jaipur, Jul 14 : Soon after Sachin Pilot was removed as Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president, Rajasthan NSUI president Abhimanyu Poonia on Tuesday also tendered his resignation.

Poonia said that around 400-500 members holding certain posts in the Youth Congress, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Seva Dal have resigned to protest against the development.

Meanwhile, over 50 Congressmen have also resigned in Tonk, Pilot’s home constituency in Rajasthan to protest against his sacking.

District Congress President of Pali Chunnilal Chadwas has also resigned from the party.

Meanwhile, Pilot in a tweet said: “My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all those who have come out in my support today. Ram Ram sa.”

Retweeting the post, Poonia said: “We will defeat slavery and will make the struggle win (hamein gulaami ko harana hai aur sangharsh ko jitana hai) #RajasthanKaPilot.”

He said that he resigned from the post in support of Sachin Pilot. “Our conscience is alive, so is our self-respect. #SachinPilotkesaath,” he said on Twitter.

The Congress on Tuesday sacked Sachin Pilot from the posts of Rajasthan’s deputy chief minister as well as the party’s state unit chief and also cracked the whip on the rebel party leader, removing his loyalists Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena from the state cabinet.

Meanwhile, protests were staged in many pockets of Gujjar dominated areas as Pilot is a favourite of the community.

High alert has been sounded in Gujjar-dominated areas in Dausa, Ajmer, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur and Bharatpur to avert any untoward incident.

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Congress suspends Sanjay Jha for ‘anti-party activities’

However, a terse statement announced that he was being suspended with immediate effect for “anti-party activities and breach of discipline”, which were not specified.

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Sanjay Jha

Mumbai, July 14 : In an abrupt development, Maharashtra Congress President Balasaheb Thorat on Tuesday suspended former party spokesperson Sanjay Jha for “anti-party activities”.

Jha, who was the Congress spokesperson and was known for his outspokenness, was sacked as the party spokesman in June for a newspaper article critical of the party.

However, a terse statement announced that he was being suspended with immediate effect for “anti-party activities and breach of discipline”, which were not specified.

In recent weeks, Jha has been in the limelight for his articles, tweets, comments etc., many of which were interpreted as anti-Congress for questioning the party leadership.

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