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Office of Profit: EC to decide fate of 21 AAP MLAs on July 14



Arvind Kejriwal

The fate of the 21 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs who were appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries by the Arvind Kejriwal government, is to be decided by the Election Commission on July 14, reports said on Monday.

Last week, the EC had found discrepancies in party’s claim that ‘there is no designated offices to the appointees’. The ECI had sought the replies of the 21 MLAs in question about their appointment as Parliamentary Secretaries despite lack of Constitutional provisions for the same.

Attempting to save from disqualification provisions for holding two offices of profit at one time, the Delhi Government then sought to amend the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of the Disqualification) Act, 1997.

The Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification Amendment) Bill- 2015 was forwarded by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to the Centre, which in turn sent it to the President with its comments.

The 21 AAP MLAs including Alka Lamba, Jarnail Singh, Adarsh Shastri and Rajesh Gupta. had sought a personal hearing before the poll body in their reply to a notice by the Election Commission last month. The petition for their disqualification was made over their appointment as parliamentary secretaries, by lawyer Prashant Patel.



HAM rebel leader joins JD-U in Bihar



HAM joins JDU

Patna, March 19: Senior Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) rebel leader Narendra Singh on Monday formally joined the ruling Janata Dal-United here and announced he will strengthen the BJP-led NDA.

Narendra Singh, a former minister, merged his faction of HAM with the JD-U in the presence of Bihar Chief Minister and party President Nitish Kumar.

Earlier on Sunday, Narendra Singh, who revolted against HAM President Jitan Ram Manjhi’s unilateral decision to break ties with the NDA and join hands with the Grand Alliance of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), declared his faction of the party the “real HAM”.

Narendra Singh was one of the few senior leaders along with former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi to join HAM that was formed before the 2015 Assembly polls.

In February, Manjhi formally joined the Grand Alliance, hours after he announced its exit from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).


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BJP trying to suppress my voice: Chandrababu Naidu



Chandrababu Naidu

Amaravati, March 19: Asserting that he is fighting for the rights of Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday alleged that the BJP is trying to suppress his voice.

Naidu, also the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief, accused the BJP of provoking some people to make allegations against him for demanding justice to the state.

He was making an oblique reference to YSR Congress president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan.

Naidu was addressing a group of Muslim leaders who called on him to show their solidarity in his fight with the BJP-led Central government.

Seeking support of Muslims and all other sections of people in his fight, the TDP chief said the BJP was trying to politically weaken him. “I am not an individual. They are trying to weaken the state,” he said.

Claiming that he had joined the BJP-led NDA for the state’s interests, he said that his party pulled out of government and exited the alliance as it had failed to deliver on the promises made to the state.

“They are now saying they will wage a war against me. War for what? Did I demand anything unjust? I only asked about the commitments made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act and the promises made in Rajya Sabha (during bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh),” said Naidu, whose party has moved a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government.

Stating that he is fighting for the rights of five crore people of the state, the Chief Minister said the TDP would not rest till achieving the goal of special category status.

Naidu said the fight for state’s rights should continue. “We should protest but at the same time we should ensure that the state doesn’t suffer. We should protest like Japan by moving ahead on the path of development,” he added.

The TDP leader assured the Muslims that the government will hire best lawyers and spent whatever money required to protect the four percent reservation enjoyed by the community in education and government jobs.

He claimed that TDP was the first party to raise its voice against triple talaq bill tabled in the Parliament, terming the bill was a deliberate attempt of bias against Muslims. “I made it clear that while I am against triple talaq, it is not correct to arrest the husband and jail him as his family and children will suffer,” said Naidu.


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Kejriwal apologises to Gadkari to end defamation case



arvind kejriwal

New Delhi, March 19: Making yet another U-turn, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday apologized to BJP leader Nitin Gadkari for making unverified allegations of corruption against him after which the Union Minister withdrew his defamation case.

The development came days after the AAP leader regretted having accused Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia of drug trade without evidence.

In a letter to Gadkari, Kejriwal said he was feeling sorry for making “certain statements, without regard to its verifiability, which seem to have hurt you…

“I have nothing personal against you. I regret the same. Let us put the incident behind us and bring the court proceedings to a closure.”

He also suggested to the Union Shipping and Transport Minister that “we should put our energy to serve the people of this country in the spirit of mutual respect”.

Consequent to the regret, Gadkari and Kejriwal later filed a joint application in the Patiala House Court, seeking withdrawal of the defamation case.

“Kejriwal has acknowledged that (the) complainant (Gadkari) was hurt on account of unverified allegations and expressed regret, in the larger public interest” and that “the complainant does not wish to pursue the defamation case”, read the application.

In 2014, Gadkari had filed the defamation suit against Kejriwal after he named him in a list of “corrupt politicians”.

Kejriwal has been dragged to courts in several defamation cases by various political leaders, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Last week, the AAP leader wrote to Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia for accusing his of involvement in drug trade without any proof to back the allegations..

The apology triggered a virtual rebellion in the AAP Punjab unit, leaing to the resignation of Bhagwant Mann as its Punjab Unit chief.


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