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In suicide note, Arunachal CM Kalikho Pul alleges graft by SC judges, Congress

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Kalikho Pul

New Delhi, Feb 17 : Late Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul had named some sitting as well as former Supreme Court judges and senior Congress politicians in a 60-page suicide letter he left behind at the time of his death last August. His wife has demanded a CBI probe into the corruption charges levelled by Pul.

“We want a central investigation agency — the CBI or the National Investigation Agency — to investigate the case. Every politician and judge named in the letter should be brought into limelight and action taken against them for demanding bribe,” his wife Dangwimsai Pul told the media here.

The suicide note written by Kalikho Pul in Hindi mentions the names of several Congress politicians both at the Centre and in Arunachal Pradesh along with Supreme Court judges, including ex-Chief Justices of India H.L Dattu and Altamas Kabir, for demanding bribe.

Dangwimsai — the first wife of Pul — has demanded a new FIR in the case as the state government did not probe the death of Pul “properly”, despite an FIR by the family.

She alleged the current state government threatened her against demanding a CBI probe.

On being asked who was threatening them, Dangwimsai told IANS: “I can’t take the names, but certainly they are people close to the ministers in the current Arunachal government.”

In his 60-page suicide note, a copy of which is with IANS, Pul said H.L. Dattu was allegedly paid Rs 28 crore in 2012 to stay an order against the former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, despite the Gauhati High Court ordering a CBI inquiry against Tuki after finding him guilty.

Similarly, another ex CJI Altamas Kabir had given a decision in favour of Arunachal contractors regarding a Public Distribution System (PDS) scam. The Central government and Food Corporation of India termed the decision wrong, he alleged in the letter.

Pul also alleges that on the directions of former Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, he in 2009 had given Rs 6 crore to President Pranab Mukherjee, then Union Finance Minister. Mukherjee was paid the money after he cleared an advance loan of Rs 200 crore to Arunachal Pradesh.

“In 2008, I, on the directions of Dorjee Khandu, was compelled to give Rs 37 crore to Congress Treasurer Moti Lal Vora,” said the suicide note.

The suicide note which brings to light several irregularities and scams in Arunachal Pradesh also mentions that Pul was contacted by some (unidentified) people, demanding Rs 86 crore to give a SC ruling in his favour, an offer which Pul said he denied.

Pul had become Chief Minister on February 19, 2016, after he along with 29 (19 Congress and 11 BJP) MLAs defected to the People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA) — a state outfit — to form a new government, bringing down the existing Congress government led by Chief Minister Tuki.

However, the Supreme Court reinstated the Tuki government on July 13, following which Pul and his supporters returned to the Congress and supported Pema Khandu as the Chief Minister.

According to the letter, Pul was contacted till 9 p.m on July 12, 2016, demanding an advance of Rs 9 crore to delay the hearing for one month. Pul was unseated from the chief ministership on July 13.

The 47-year-old leader was found hanging from a ceiling fan on August 9 in the official residence of the Chief Minister. He had yet to vacate the bungalow.

The Arunachal Police had found a 60-page letter written by Pul near his body, titled ‘Mere Vichar’ (My Views).

The letter also accuses two sitting judges of the Supreme Court of corruption.

“Virender Khehar (relative of a serving judge), had asked for Rs 49 crore from me. In another case Aditya Mishra (relative of another serving judge) had asked Rs 37 crore from me,” said the letter.

Mentioning extreme manipulations through money in the Supreme Court while giving important verdicts, Pul said he was contacted till July 25, 2016 — more than a week after the July 13 verdict — by the kin of a serving Supreme Court juge with an offer to change the decision of the Supreme Court in his favour for Rs 31 crore.

The suicide letter — which appears to be written over a period of a month and with his signature on each page — clearly expresses the frustration and helplessness of Pul towards the government and judiciary.

In the letter, Pul has accused Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu and ex-CM Nabam Tuki as being among the few people responsible for bringing the state into financial ruin.

The suicide note states that the entire expenses of Rs 90 crore for the case — to unseat him — in the Supreme Court was borne by former and current Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and Pema Khandu.

The letter also names Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Kamal Nath, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid and V. Narayanasamy as demanding money to resolve problems among the Congress legislators in Arunachal Pradesh.

Election

Congress leads in three BJP-ruled states, TRS in Telangana

In Mizoram, the ruling Congress was trailing to the MNF, whose candidates were ahead in 16 of the 40 seats. The Congress was ahead in five seats, losing as many as 10 seats.

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Assembly Election in 5 State

New Delhi, Dec 11 : Congress candidates on Tuesday took significant leads in BJP-ruled Rajasthan and was inching ahead of the BJP in both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in Assembly elections held in five states.

Early trends from counting centres also showed that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) appeared set to retain power in Telangana while the ruling Congress was lagging behind the Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram in state elections that were widely dubbed a “semi-final” ahead of the Lok Sabha battle next year.

In line with exit polls, the Congress appeared to be returning to power after a five-year gap in Rajasthan, the country’s largest state which has not re-elected a ruling party in recent times.

Congress candidates were ahead in 87 of the 199 constituencies, gaining around 60 seats, while the BJP was leading in 70 seats but heavily losing in over 50 constituencies.

And in a reversal of trends, the Congress overtook the BJP in both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Both states the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ruled for 15 years.

Congress nominees were ahead of others in 75 seats and the BJP in 60 in the battle for the 230-member Assembly. While the Congress made major gains across the state, the BJP was losing many seats it has held for long.

In Chhattisgarh, the Congress was ahead in 44 of the 90 seats, giving a fright to the BJP, whose Chief Minister Raman Singh was at one time trailing in the vote count from Rajnandgaon before he overtook his rivals later.

BJP candidates were ahead in 25 seats in Chhattisgarh.

In Mizoram, the ruling Congress was trailing to the MNF, whose candidates were ahead in 16 of the 40 seats. The Congress was ahead in five seats, losing as many as 10 seats.

The TRS was poised to retain power in Telangana with a huge majority, with its candidates leading in 80 of the 119 seats, leaving the Congress-led alliance way behind.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media that he was confident of a Congress victory in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and said he had “always been a little more pessimistic” about Telangana.

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Cities

Senior Congress leader C.N. Balakrishnan dead

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CN Balaakrishnan

Kochi, Dec 11 : Senior Congress leader and former Kerala Minister C.N. Balakrishnan died at a private hospital here due to pneumonia, party sources said on Tuesday. He was 87.

He died on Monday night, the sources said.

A long standing aide of former Kerala Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, Balakrishnan was the Thrissur district Congress committee president for 17 years and was also the treasurer of the state unit for long.

It was in 2011 that Balakrishnan first contested the polls and went on to become the state Cooperation Minister in the Oommen Chandy cabinet.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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Politics

Former LF minister Abdus Sattar joins Congress

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congress

Kolkata, Dec 11 (IANS) Former West Bengal minister Abdus Sattar, who severed his long association with the CPI-M last year, on Monday joined the Congress, calling it the only party capable of challenging the communal policies of the BJP.

Sattar, who served as Minister of State for Minorities Development during the Left Front regime, was welcomed into the Congress by state party chief Somen Mitra and in-charge of Bengal Gaurav Gogoi.

“I decided to join the Congress after I became convinced it is the only party that can stand up to the communal onslaught launched by the BJP across the country,” Sattar told mediapersons at the state Congress headquarters Bidhan Bhavan.

Sattar had not renewed his membership of the Communist Party of India-Marxist in 2017. Since then, he had not been associated with any party.

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