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Opposition parties discuss anti-CAA protests, violence on campuses

Significantly, the BSP, the AAP and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC stayed away from the meeting attended by representatives of 20 parties in all.

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Oppositions Party Meet

New Delhi, Jan 13 : A meeting of Opposition parties convened by Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday deliberated on the current political situation following widespread protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the violence on campuses.

Significantly, the BSP, the AAP and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC stayed away from the meeting attended by representatives of 20 parties in all.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, JMM leader and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, LJD chief Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party leader Upendra Kushwaha, RJD leader Manoj Jha, National Conference leader Hasnain Masoodi, besides Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and former prime minister Manmohan Singh were among those present.

Oppositions Party Meet
Oppositions Party Meet

Sources said top opposition leaders have already held discussions among themselves and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad is leading the efforts.

The opposition is seeking to win over the youth and the students by supporting their protests against the amended citizenship law and any National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The sources said the Congress and other parties are seeking to take the students’ movement forward and have lent support to their cause.

Last week, Sonia Gandhi had termed the CAA as a “discriminatory and divisive” law whose “sinister” purpose was to divide people on religious lines, and asserted that the NPR (National Population Register) in form and content was “disguised NRC (National Register of Citizens)”.

The joint opposition move also assumes significance as it comes soon after Delhi Assembly election dates have been announced.

Elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly will be held on February 8 and results will be declared on February 11.

The last time a majority of opposition leaders got together was at the swearing-in of Hemant Soren as Jharkhand chief minister.

Politics

Manoj Sinha 10th BJP leader from UP to hold gubernatorial post

Earlier, former Speaker of the UP assembly, Kesri Nath Tripathi was given the gubernatorial assignment in West Bengal in 2014. He retired last year.

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Manoj Sinha

Lucknow, Aug 6 : The newly appointed Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, is the tenth BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh to hold a gubernatorial post.

Last year, Kalraj Mishra, 79, once considered the Brahmin face of the party in UP, was appointed governor of Himachal Pradesh and is now holding the same position in Rajasthan.

Satyapal Malik, who had earlier had a tenure as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, is now Governor of Goa.

Malik, who had also served as Governor of Bihar, was earlier a member of the Janata Dal and then the Samajwadi Party before he joined the BJP prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Malik belongs to Baghpat district.

Baby Rani Maurya, the Governor of Uttarakhand, is also from Uttar Pradesh. Maurya was the first woman Mayor of Agra in 1995 and has been a dedicated BJP worker.

The Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohd Khan, is also from Uttar Pradesh. A former Congress leader and a union minister, he later joined the BJP.

Phagu Chauhan, Governor of Bihar, also belongs to UP and has had several stints as a minister in the BJP governments in the state.

The Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Brigadier B D Mishra (Retd) belongs to Bhadohi district in Uttar Pradesh though he has spent a large part of his life in different states as a military officer.

Former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh was another UP BJP leader who became Governor of Rajasthan and completed his tenure last year.

Earlier, former Speaker of the UP assembly, Kesri Nath Tripathi was given the gubernatorial assignment in West Bengal in 2014. He retired last year.

Veteran leader Lalji Tandon was appointed Governor of Bihar and then Madhya Pradesh. He passed away last month after a prolonged illness in Lucknow.

He served as a cabinet minister in all the BJP governments in UP and was closely associated with former Prime Minister, late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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Politics

Status quo, says Maken on political crisis in Rajasthan

Congress top sources said that, “if Pilot wants to return there should be no preconditions as this will set a wrong precedent.”

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Sachin Pilot

New Delhi, Aug 6 : There is “status quo” in the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan as there have been no talks with the rebel MLAs belonging to the Sachin Pilot camp to get them back to the Congress party fold. However, the party said that it has “majority” numbers and can prove the same on the floor of the House.

Senior spokesperson of the Congress and special observer to Rajasthan, Ajay Maken said that “status quo” would not be a wrong word at all. Maken was responding to questions as he held a virtual press conference from Jaisalmer where the Congress MLAs belonging to the Gehlot camp are holed up.

The Congress leader said that the party has the numbers and is ready to prove majority, adding that even the opposition had not moved a no-confidence motion.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot along with his supporting MLAs have rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, however the Congress has appealed to them several times to return to the party fold.

Congress top sources said that, “if Pilot wants to return there should be no preconditions as this will set a wrong precedent.”

While the Congress claims that it has a comfortable majority, the party is wary of the numbers since the Rajasthan High Court issued a notice to Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi on Wednesday on petitions filed by BSP national Secretary Satish Mishra and BJP MLA Madan Dilawar challenging the merger of 6 BSP MLAs with the Congress.

However in a bid to pacify the rebel MLAs the Rajasthan Special Operation Group (SOG) has scrapped the sedition charges clamped on Congress MLAs accused of alleged horse-trading to topple the state government. The SOG of Rajasthan Police on Tuesday transferred the case to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had said in Jaisalmer on August 1 that if those who were engaged in the conspiracy to destabilise the government in the state confess to the party high command and are forgiven, he would also embrace them.

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HC asks trial court to decide on pleas against Kapil Mishra, Thakur

The submission came while the court was hearing a batch of matters relating to the violence and riots that erupted in northeast Delhi in February.

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Anurag Thakur Parvesh Verma Kapil Mishra

New Delhi, Aug 5 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the trial court to decide, “in accordance with the law”, on a petition by CPI-M leader Brinda Karat seeking lodging of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and others for their alleged hate speeches in relation to the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.

A division bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while disposing of Karat’s application, asked the magistrate concerned at the Rouse Avenue court to decide on the matter.

The direction came after Karat’s counsel Tara Narula requested the court to dispose of the matter with directions to the trial court to consider it.

Narula further apprised the bench that the magistrate’s court had earlier reserved its judgment on the application after hearing the arguments of all sides but did not pronounce its order as similar issues were pending in the High Court.

The submission came while the court was hearing a batch of matters relating to the violence and riots that erupted in northeast Delhi in February.

After hearing the matter briefly, over video conferencing, the court posted the matters for further hearing on August 24.

Recently, the Delhi Police, in its affidavit filed before the court, had stated that the statements of various political leaders are being examined and necessary action will be taken if evidence is found against them.

“Speeches of political leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma, Waris Pathan, and others are being examined by the Delhi Police and necessary action in this regard will be taken in due course of time if it is found that their speech had any nexus with the riots,” the affidavit said.

Meanwhile, after a brief hearing, the division bench, headed by Chief Justice Patel, also adjourned, till August 24, the batch of matters relating to the violence in and around the campus of the Jamia Milia Islamia in December last year.

On Tuesday, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves told the bench that the alleged police brutality unleashed on the Jamia students then “was to tell the students to drop the idea of going to the Parliament”.

“The beating was really serious and severe like the police was going against their enemies. Students are not certainly enemies, I suppose…. This was to tell the students that they should forget the idea of marching to the Parliament,” he said.

During the course of hearing, senior counsel Salman Khurshid, appearing for another petitioner, supported Gonsalves’s argument that the police action was intended to stop the students from carrying out a march to the Parliament, saying that while the police can regulate such a march, but here, they decided to not to allow it at all.

Khurshid further said that the gathering of students was intended to be peaceful. “Such march is an ethos of our democracy even if it’s dissent towards the government,” he argued.

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