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New Delhi, Jan 17: The India-China “bonhomie” before the Doklam standoff has returned, Army chief Bipin Rawat said, but added that one should be “prepared for anything”.

In a Facebook Live session during the ongoing Raisina Dialogue organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), he said: “I think the bonhomie (between India and China) has returned to what it was prior to the Dolam (Doklam standoff). I don’t visualise very serious trouble, but then one has to be prepared for anything.”

Gen Rawat said troops were still there in the northern part of the plateau, which is a part of Chinese territory.

“As far as Doklam is concerned PLA soldiers are there in a part of the area, although not in numbers that we saw them in initially. They have carried out some infrastructure development which is mostly temporary in nature.

“While troops (PLA) may have returned and infrastructure remains, it is anybody’s guess whether they would come back there or is it because of the winters that they could not take their equipment, but we are also there, so in case they come, we will face them,” he said.

Rawat however added that the mechanisms established between India and China are working “very well”.

“But mechanisms that we have of defusing tensions between our two countries are working very well and after Doklam, we’ve started our Border Personnel Meeting, we are meeting regularly, exchanges are taking place, communication between commanders at ground level is on,” he said.

At the annual pres conference of India Army recently, the Army chief had said focus should shift to the northern border with China, adding that while China had emerged as a “powerful nation”, India was not a weak nation.

He said road construction had been on in Doklam since 2000, but the Chinese soldiers had come close to Tosa Nala — which divides north and south Doklam — with a large number of manpower and equipment in June last year, just before the India-China standoff started.

IANS

India

HC notice on woman’s plea seeking fresh passport for son stranded abroad for 8 yrs

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Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre”s reply on a woman”s plea seeking directions to the government to provide a passport to her son, who is stuck abroad for the last eight years as he does not have a valid travel document.

Justice Navin Chawla issued notice to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) seeking its stand on the plea which claims that her son”s passport was damaged when he was in Italy and had applied for a duplicate one in 2012 which has not been issued to him.

He moved to Paris for work as without a valid passport he was finding it tough to get work in Italy, her plea has said.

The Indian consulate in Italy had refused to issue him a passport as a dowry case was pending him here, she has said in her plea.

The woman has said that she, her husband and her son were falsely implicated in a dowry case by her then daughter-in-law in 2009.

Her husband passed away during the pendency of the case and her son was declared a proclaimed offender as he could not come back to India due to lack of a valid passport, the petition has claimed.

She was acquitted in the case in 2016 and meanwhile, her ex-daughter-in-law obtained a divorce in 2011 and got married again, the plea said.

It has also claimed that the divorce was granted by way of an ex-parte order as her son could not come to India to defend himself.

The high court has listed the matter for further hearing on December 7. PTI HMP SKV SA

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India

Sensing MP bypolls’ defeat, BJP indulging in horse-trading: Cong

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congress

A day after one of its MLAs in Madhya Pradesh resigned from the Assembly to join the BJP, the Congress on Monday cried foul and alleged that the BJP was “indulging in horse-trading” after sensing its impending defeat in the November 3 bypolls.

“The BJP knows that they are going to lose the bypolls; so again, doing the same thing to remain in power in Madhya Pradesh. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has already said that they are making the democracy hallow and this is the latest example,” Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh told a press conference here.

Congress MLA Rahul Lodhi from Damoh on Sunday resigned from the Assembly and joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal.

Earlier this year, 22 Congress MLAs had resigned from the Assembly and joined the BJP under the leadership of Jyotiraditya Scindia, which led to the collapse of the then Kamal Nath-led Congress government.

Three more Congress MLAs later resigned from the Assembly. Now, the latest blow to the Congress has come with the resignation of Rahul Lodhi.

The 28 Assembly segments in Madhya Pradesh will see by-elections on November 3.

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India

SC stays HC order to parties to go virtual for MP bypolls

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a Madhya Pradesh High Court order to political parties to campaign virtually for the November 3 Assembly bypolls in the state, but pulled up the parties for creating a situation that compelled the HC to act.

The top court stayed the High Court order, but noted that the situation would not have arisen if health protocols were followed in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.

Staying the High Court order, the bench also asked the Election Commission of India to take an appropriate decision in connection with political rallies as per the law in the backdrop of COVID-19 guidelines.

The bench noted that the High Court would not have interfered if the political parties had done their job better. “Take charge, ensure you discharge your duties in a manner that are in the best interest of everyone,” noted the bench.

The top court’s order came during the hearing on pleas by the Election Commission and Madhya Pradesh Energy Minister Pradyuman Singh Tomar against the High Court order of October 20.

The bench asked Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tomar, to make a representation to the Election Commission for the loss of time in electioneering due to the High Court order.

The poll panel, represented by Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, assailed the High Court order and citing Article 329 of the Constitution said that the conduct and management of elections was overseen by it and there was an express bar on judicial interference in the middle of the electoral process.

Tomar, a BJP candidate for Gwalior Assembly seat bypoll in Madhya Pradesh, pleaded that the High Court committed an error as it overlooked that the Election Commission under Article 324 had issued COVID-19 guidelines in September-end to permit physical public gatherings albeit with restrictions.

The bypolls to 28 Assembly seats in the state are slated for November 3. The plea said that as per the guidelines and the state government SOPs, political gatherings of over 100 people with safety measures could be allowed.

Source: IANS

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