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Opposition delegation meets President, seeks CAA rollback

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New Delhi: Amid the protests across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act, a delegation of 19 opposition leaders on Tuesday met President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to ask the Narendra Modi government roll back the legislation.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Congress’ interim President Sonia Gandhi said that the whole country is agitating on the CAA, and the opposition was anguished with the police action against the protesters in the northeast and in Delhi.

“Delhi is an example where the police has trespassed into the Jamia women’s hostel and dragged them out…. they have beaten up students mercilessly, you have seen that the Modi government seems to have no compassion when it comes to shutting down people’s voices,” she said.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that “the government knew that what is going to happen but did nothing on it, and in Assam five people have died and many have bullet wounds”.

The opposition leaders assembled at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament House before proceeding to the Rashtrapati Bhavan with Sonia Gandhi leading them.

The opposition delegation also included Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, DMK’s T.R. Baalu, Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien, and the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s Sitaram Yechuri.


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Eviction of Priyanka Gandhi govt’s arrogance of power: Sharad Pawar

Pawar’s no-holds-barred response came in the final instalment of his three-part marathon interview to ”Saamana” and ”Dopahar Ka Saamana” Group”s Executive Editor Sanjay Raut.

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sharad pawar

Mumbai, July 13 : Targeting the BJP-led Centre, NCP President Sharad Pawar on Monday said that the move to evict Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from her government residence in Delhi is a “display of NDA government’s arrogance of power”.

“We must remember that the Nehru-Gandhi family has dedicated its life for the country. Jawaharlal Nehru made immense contribution to India”s freedom struggle and put it on the path of democracy. His daughter Indira Gandhi and grandson Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed their lives for the country. Priyanka is from the same family,” said Pawar.

Even after Rajiv Gandhi”s death, his wife Sonia Gandhi built the party and though there may be political differences, “that doesn”t mean that you can misuse the power to harass someone; that”s not wise or honourable,” the Nationalist Congress Party leader said.

The NCP chief said “petty politics” is being witnessed in the country, and recalled how, when Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, whenever he organised a conference of chief ministers, the BJP would hold separate meetings of the BJP-ruled CMs.

“In those meetings, the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would use very strong language against Singh. That was unprecedented — how a state CM could adopt such a vindictive attitude towards the country”s PM,” Pawar recalled.

Today, he added, with the BJP ruling at the Centre, Singh has never taken to heart the criticism he faces. Even when Modi as CM would criticize the PM, Manmohan Singh never vent his anger at Gujarat, the former Union Minister added.

Recounting his own experiences, Pawar said that when he was the Union Agriculture Minister, some Congress leaders would grumble that even though Modi criticised the PM so much, ”we are going out of the way to help Gujarat”, but Manmohan Singh stood by him (Pawar), saying “Gujarat is a part of India and it is our duty to protect every Indian and every state”.

“Today, the situation has changed. All we see is — bring down this state government, topple that state government. Now, we are seeing this in Rajasthan. Some (BJP) leaders keep talking like this even for Maharashtra. BJP”s ”Operation Kamal” is misuse of power by the Centre to destabilise, weaken and bring down the government elected by the peoples” mandate,” Pawar said.

However, he expressed confidence that ”Operation Kamal” will not affect the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra, though the BJP has been giving deadlines, and the next one is October.

Pawar’s no-holds-barred response came in the final instalment of his three-part marathon interview to ”Saamana” and ”Dopahar Ka Saamana” Group”s Executive Editor Sanjay Raut.

He cautioned that though Thackeray is doing a good job as CM, there is a need for “enhanced dialogue” among the three allies — Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — for smoother functioning of the MVA government.

To Raut”s query, Pawar revealed that his 2014 statement to offer outside support to the BJP was actually aimed at keeping the Shiv Sena out of the government since they both (BJP-Sena) had fought elections separately.

“When it became possible that a post-poll alliance could materialise, I made that statement. But it didn”t work out and later the Sena joined the government and it completed its full term,” said Pawar.

Justifying his politics, the NCP chief said that handing out power to BJP again in (2019) was not in the interests of the Sena or other political party “since the BJP doesn”t believe that other (non-BJP) parties have a right to function in a democracy”.

Pawar dismissed Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis” recent claims on this issue and hit back, saying that prior to the 2019 government formation, the BJP had approached NCP to form the government as it did not want Shiv Sena to come to power.

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Abdullahs challenge house detention of NC leaders

Unfortunately that was not to be. The house detentions without any administrative orders are unlawful, undermining the due respect to human rights and individual liberty,” he said.

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Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar, July 13 : Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC) President and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah and his son and party Vice President Omar Abdullah on Monday filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court challenging the ”unconstitutional and ”illegal house detention of 16 NC leaders and functionaries.

As per the statement issued from the party headquarters, Farooq Abdullah has filed a petition for the release of Ali Mohammad Sagar, Abdul Rahim Rather, Nasir Aslam Wani, Aga Syed Mehmood, Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Irfan Shah and Sahmeema Firdous from house detention, while Omar Abdullah has challenged the detention of Mohammad Shafi Uri, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Chaudhary Mohammad Ramzaan, Mubarak Gul, Bashir Veeri, Abdul Majeed Larmi, Basharat Bukhari, Saifudin Bhat Shutru and Mohammad Shafi through their counsel advocate Shariq Reyaz.

Party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said the decision to move to the court has been taken as a last resort to provide relief to various party members who have continuously been under house arrest or have been kept under house detention after being shifted from detention centers.

“Shifting of the detainees from detention centers to their homes only characterised revolving-door detention practice. Quashing of the PSA on party General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar underscored the indefensible nature of all detentions in the court of law, leading us to believe that the administration will release all the detainees in the absence of any convincing reason.

Unfortunately that was not to be. The house detentions without any administrative orders are unlawful, undermining the due respect to human rights and individual liberty,” he said.

“We are hopeful that the court will come to the rescue of our colleagues, who have been suffering for no fault of theirs ever since the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A on August 5, 2019. This was the only recourse left to us. We are hopeful that the court will uphold the civil liberties of our colleagues, most of whom have not been keeping well,” Dar said.

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UP Speaker rejects disqualification plea against two Congress MLAs

Aditi Singh is the daughter of former MLA Akhilesh Singh, and Rakesh Singh is the brother of Dinesh Singh who has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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Aditi Singh Akhilesh congress raebareli

Lucknow, July 13 : UP Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit has rejected the Congress petition seeking disqualification of its two rebel legislators – Aditi Singh and Rakesh Singh.

Both the legislators belong to Rae Bareli.

Aditi Singh is the daughter of former MLA Akhilesh Singh, and Rakesh Singh is the brother of Dinesh Singh who has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Speaker said the petitioner couldn”t provide adequate evidences in support of their allegations.

The two legislators had been defying the party line and issuing statements against the party since the past one year.

The Speaker”s decision means the two legislators will continue to be members of the Assembly till the end of their term.

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