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Former militant Saifullah contesting elections from Srinagar on BJP ticket



Srinagar, Oct 3 ; A former militant, Farooq Ahmad Khan, alias Saifullah is contesting elections from old City Srinagar city in Jammu and Kashmir on a Bharatiya Janta party ticket.

On one side, BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir in-charge Ram Madhav has been claiming that the Saffron Party is following ” no mercy” strategy for combating terrorism and against terrorists in the Valley and on the other side, a former militant Saifullah is fighting J&K local body polls on a BJP ticket.

Saifullah gave up arms under the 2010 rehabilitation policy announced by the Omar Abdullah government for Kashmiri militants living in Pakistan.

“I was in Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front & Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. After coming out of prison, I formed J&K Human Welfare Organisation for rehabilitation of ex-militants. No one supported me, not even those for whom I picked gun.I didn’t know they were only counting notes, Khan said

“People were abusing me earlier & abusing me today even though I am working for peace now. I will win & spend my earnings on rehabilitation of ex-militants & their children’s education…I didn’t surrender on rehabilitation policy: Khan, J&K local body polls candidate

“I have given up the path of violence and wants to lead a normal life.People might ask why I fought on a BJP ticket but I would like to tell them that unless and until we engage with the political circumstances surrounding us, nothing will be solved. And I will work with dedication for the people who were given false hopes in all these years,” Khan said.

The municipal polls will be held in four phases across Jammu and Kashmir on 8, 10, 13 and 16 October in which 16,97,291 electors are eligible to vote in around 1,145 wards.
Municipal elections are being held for the first time since 2005.

From October 8 until December 11, Jammu & Kashmir will hold elections to local bodies. Both the municipal and the panchayat elections are being held after long delays, the former after 13 years.

Two main regional parties — National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party — decided to boycott the urban local body polls in protest against the Centre’s plan to scrap the special status of the state.
Meanwhile terror group Hizbul Mujahideen has threatened to carry out acid attacks against people who contest in the elections and those who file nomination papers. Without taking any risk, many candidates, particularly from south Kashmir, were put up in hotels in Srinagar, the capital, by the state administration.

The state government also announced recently that the candidates, who will contest the municipal and Panchayat polls, will be covered under an attractive life insurance policy.


‘Corporate vultures eying small banks, merge Lakshmi Vilas Bank with govt bank’




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Chennai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should take a prompt and correct action of merging the 93-year-old Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with a nationalised bank, a top leader of one of the largest bank unions said.

“There are a number of corporate vultures that are circling the small-old generation private banks for a take over. These regional banks have their own tradition and culture and taking them beyond certain borders and expanding their size will result in failure,” All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS.

It is not known who brings the suitors for the south-based, regional old-generation private banks and for what purpose.

Referring to the voting out of seven Directors of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank, and the statutory auditors by a group of shareholders at annual general meeting held on September 25, Venkatachalam said it is time for the RBI to act quickly in the interests of depositors.

“The RBI should take necessary steps to merge the LVB with a public sector bank to protect the depositors, rather than looking out for suitors who may not be suited for the bank’s culture,” he said.

According to Venkatachalam, banks like the LVB, Karur Vysya Bank (KVB), Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB), Karnataka Bank and others are largely regional banks steeped in their own tradition.

“Expanding them into unknown territories would result in trouble for them,” he said.

Citing the case of Kerala-based small-sized Dhanlaxmi Bank, Venkatachalam recalled that around 2008-2012, it made a loss of over Rs 850 crore as the top management brought it to serious problems in the name of modernising it.

He said with the intervention of the RBI, a change in top management, and strengthening its capital base, etc. and inducting some reputed people on the bank’s Board, Dhanlaxmi Bank turned around and earned profit.

As a part of turnaround, the bank closed down many of its branches in north Indian states, where inadequate controls landed it in problems, he said.

Venkatachalam said for the past two years, the Dhanlaxmi Bank is making profits with the profit for last fiscal being Rs 65 crore – the highest since the bank’s inception.

He pointed out the Kumbakonam-based City Union Bank, which is operating steadily, as an example of a well-run, small-sized old generation bank which was started in 1904.

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Agri laws are death sentence for farmers: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress party is also protesting against the farm laws across the country.



Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Sep 28 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that the agriculture-related laws are a “death sentence” for farmers whose voice has been crushed both inside and outside Parliament.

“The agriculture laws are a death sentence to our farmers. Their voice is crushed in Parliament and outside. Here is proof that democracy in India is dead,” he said on Twitter.

Gandhi tagged a news report along with his tweet that claimed that Opposition members demanding a division of votes were on their seats when the farm bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha, while the government said they were not.

Gandhi and his Congress party have been demanding that the farm legislations be withdrawn as they are not beneficial for farmers, who will be enslaved at the hands of private players and big businesses.

The Congress party is also protesting against the farm laws across the country.

The government has, however, asserted that the new laws will free farmers from the clutches of middleman and allow them to sell their produce anywhere they want at a remunerative price.

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Congress protests against farm laws in Goa, demands rollback

“If this is not a new ‘zamindari system’, what else is? Through this specious mode of contract farming, farmers will be left at the mercy of big companies, courts and bureaucracy in the event of any dispute.




Goa Congress Farm Protest

Panaji, Sep 28 : The Congress in Goa on Monday staged a protest at the Raj Bhavan here to protest against the three new agricultural laws and demanded their rollback.

In a memorandum submitted at the Raj Bhavan, Goa Congress leaders leading more than 1,000 protestors claimed the new legislations were “anti-farmer but corporate-friendly”.

Parliament passed the three Bills in its Monsoon Session. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent on September 24 whereas the central government published it its gazette on Sunday.

“The biggest flaw in the contract farming law is that Minimum Support Price (MSP) is not mandatory. Once the mandi system is abolished, farmers will be solely dependent on contract farming and big companies will decide the price of farmer’s crops on their own,” claimed the memorandum signed by top Congress functionaries and addressed to the President of India.

“If this is not a new ‘zamindari system’, what else is? Through this specious mode of contract farming, farmers will be left at the mercy of big companies, courts and bureaucracy in the event of any dispute.

“In such a scenario, powerful big companies will naturally exercise their influence on bureaucracy and attack the very livelihood of farmers by engaging them in the legal intricacies and earn profits,” the memorandum said.

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