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Goa opposition ‘on a high’ as minister claims mafia threat



Panaji, Sep 13: A Goa Minister’s public admission of being under threat by the drug mafia has triggered a political storm in the coastal state, with the opposition accusing the BJP-led coalition government here of allowing lawless elements to run amok.

Fisheries Minister Vinod Palienkar, who is an MLA from Siolim, home to beach villages like Anjuna and Chapora, on Tuesday admitted of giving up his morning stroll on public beaches following subtle threats and stalking from the mafia.

“People are following me. They seem to know exactly where I am going. I have even given up taking my morning walk on beaches. Now I go for a brisk walk on my home terrace,” Palienkar said.

The Fisheries Minister has been in the news over his opposition to rave parties, which he alleges are havens for drugs. Anjuna and Chapora are known for such parties.

Palienkar told reporters he had hurt “vested interests” hence the mafia threats.

He also said, he had officially informed the state Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma about these threats. “The Chief Secretary has said he will look at upgrading my security.”

Goa, one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country is also known for narco-tourism, fuelled by rave parties which are organised illegally across the coastal belt, especially in North Goa.

Anjuna, Vagator, Chapora beaches have for years been known for easy availability of narcotics and have been hubs for rave parties as well as popular electronic dance music festivals, where drug-overdose related deaths have been reported on numerous occasions.

The open admission by Palienkar, has given fresh ammunition to the opposition, which has now lambasted the Manohar Parrikar government for poor law and order, where even a minister has to seek police security.

“The law and order situation in Goa has come to such a pass that a Cabinet Minister is now feeling insecure. The threat to his life, publicly expressed… is unprecedented… and shocking,” Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Ashley do Rosario told IANS.

“The government should immediately investigate the threat perception as well as pinpoint the reasons for it, which prima facie stems from the minister’s recent outbursts against rampant narco-trade in his constituency.

“Palienkar should be immediately provided highest personal security,” do Rosario said, adding that his apprehension was “indicative of the abject failure of Parrikar, who holds the home portfolio and the utter indiscipline in his cabinet and government where ministers are interfering in each other’s departments.”

The Congress has also pitched in with its criticism of the government.

“If the government cannot protect its own Minister, how will it protect the common man? The government, as well as the law and order machinery, is in shambles,” Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo told IANS.



No more a movie star but a lamp in homes, says Kamal Hassan ahead of launching his party



Kamal Hassan
Kamal Hassan

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Wednesday formally began his political journey from former President late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s residence here and said he is no more a movie star but a lamp in the homes of people.

“Like the lamp in your homes you should protect me,” Kamal told a gathering here on his way to Madurai.

Scheduled to unveil his party’s name and flag at a public rally later in the day in Madurai, Kamal met the former President’s elder brother and other family members at his residence in Rameswaram.

“Greatness can come from simple beginnings,” he said.

“Actually, it will come only from simplicity. Glad to start my journey from a great man’s simple abode,” the actor added in a tweet.

However, his second halt at the government school in Mandapam where Kalam studied got cancelled as the district administration did not give permission.

A leader of a Hindu outfit said they had opposed Kamal’s visit to the school as he was trying to gain political mileage and nothing more.

Later speaking to the fishing community in Rameswaram, Kamal said that it is one of the most important industries in Tamil Nadu. He would be back to listen to the suggestions made by the fisherfolk.

Several flags in white with the Tamil Nadu map in black, sporting the tag line “Naalai Namadhe” meaning “Tomorrow is Ours” were seen flying in Rameswaram.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tamil Nadu unit leader Tamilisai Soundararajan told reporters that Kamal appeared to have “started a political party to compete against someone”, an apparent reference to superstar Rajinikanth who has also announced plans to launch his political entry.

She said while anyone can float a political party, Tamil Nadu is not in a situation where only Kamal can save it. She said after exhausting in the film field for 50 years, these actors have suddenly turned to politics which people of Tamil Nadu will not accept.

Soundararajan also said these actors-turned-politicians are bonsais.

On the other hand, Dalit party leader Thol. Thirumavalan told reporters that Kamal and Rajinikanth are agents of the BJP to affect DMK in Tamil Nadu.

Kamal arrived here to a rousing welcome on the eve of the launch of his political party on Wednesday even as DMK Working President M.K. Stalin appeared to take a dig at film personalities taking a plunge into politics saying paper flowers which do not have fragrance will bloom during a season but they will wither very soon.

Reacting to that Kamal said he is not a paper flower but a seed. “Plant me and I will grow,” Kamal said.

AIADMK leader and Minister D. Jayakumar said he agreed with Stalin that these are paper flowers and “a modified genetic seed that will not grow”.

“The party flag will be hoisted in the evening in Madurai when the idea behind the flag will be detailed,” Kamal told reporters on arrival in Madurai.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, actor Seeman, who strongly opposes Rajinikanth on the basis of his non-Tamil origin, met Kamal at his home in Chennai.

He told reporters that Kamal had expressed a wish to meet him but he felt that he should come to his residence because he was elder to him. Seeman also recalled that he also hailed from Ramanathapuram district.

Kamal called on DMK president M. Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence to seek his blessings. Stalin was also present then.

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Chief Secretary row: Delhi Court sends two AAP MLAs to judicial custody till tomorrow



Amantullah Khan
Amanatullah Khan Surrenders

New Delhi, Feb 21: Delhi Court on Wednesday sent the two AAP MLAs(Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal)  to judicial custody till tomorrow after they were produced before Delhi’s Tis Hazari court.

Delhi police arrested AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan in Delhi Chief Secretary alleged assault case after he surrendered dramatically in Jamia Nagar Police station. While surrendering the MLA said, I have not done anything wrong.’

Whereas the police arrested the another MLA Prakash Jarwal on Tuesday evening on the accusations that he along with Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan and his colleague in front of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister’s residence assaulted Chief Secretary of Delhi Anshu Prakash on Monday midnight, where he was called for a meeting.

The police today also questioned V.K. Jain, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s advisor in connection with an alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by two AAP MLAs.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Harendra Kumar Singh told IANS that Jain was being questioned at the Civil Lines Police Station.

The Chief Minister’s advisor was present at the time of the incident, according to Prakash’s police complaint.

The Additional DCP said police were also trying to track down Khan. They had been to Khan’s residence to detain him on Tuesday night, but the AAP MLA from Okhla was not present.

The allegation of the assault triggered a political storm in the national capital a day ago with the BJP demanding Kejriwal’s resignation and the Congress asking for the AAP chief’s apology.

The AAP hit back by stating that the Chief Secretary was making false allegations and said he was working at the “behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”.

The Home Ministry sought a report from Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on the issue and Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was “deeply pained” by the development.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain was manhandled by a crowd which gathered outside the door of a lift inside the Delhi Secretariat. Hussain’s Assistant Personal Secretary was beaten up, according to multiple video clips from the Secretariat.


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Sinha’s jibe: As Modi’s are leaving the country, hide the ‘Jhola’ of fourth Modi, he is a sentimental man



Shatrughan Sinha
BJP MP, Shatrughan Sinha (File Photo)

BJP leader, Shatrughan Sinha, who is known to be very vocal against his own party on Wednesday launched a new attack on Prime minister Narendra Modi.

Continuing his series of sarcastic jibes on the BJP government the leader in the tweet said,”With humour & a tinge of political irony! Tweets like this are being actively shared across parties.”

Stating PM Modi’s statement from one of his speeches in which Prime minister said, “I am only a ‘Fakeer’, I’ll take up my bag and leave” (Modi ne ek rally mein Kaha tha, main to fakeer hun jhola uthakar chal dunga)

Sinha took a dig on Modi’s statement and said, “3 Modi’s (Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Jatin) have already left and we should hide the ‘Jhola’ of the fourth(Narendra Modi) as he is a sentimental man.”

In his tweet, on Tuesday the leader questioned the presence of Nirav Modi with PM Modi in World Economic Forum in Davos.


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