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RSS chief raises temple pitch ahead of Gujarat polls

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Mohan Bhagwat
Mohan Bhagwat, RSS Chief (File Photo)

Udupi (Karnataka), Nov 24: Ahead of Gujarat elections, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday raised the pitch for a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, saying it will be constructed only at the disputed site and “nothing else” will be built there.

“The Ram temple will be constructed at the site of Ramjanmabhoomi and nothing else will be built. It will be constructed and that too in its original form and with the same stones. It will be built under the leadership of those who led this movement and have been holding its flag for 20-25 years,” he said at a three-day ‘Dharam Sansad’ of the VHP here.

“Time has come close. We have to be very careful and take steps one by one. We don’t have to think about anything else.

“For the welfare of Hindu society and for the universal welfare of the world, let the Ram temple be built at Ramjanbhoomi in Ayodhya. This is my only wish,” Bhagwat said after the head of Pejawar Mutt, Vishweshateertha Swamiji, said that construction of Ram temple would begin within one yera after crossing all hurdles.

This is for the first time that Bhagwat has spoken so vehemently on the Ram temple issue in a public address.

His comments assume significance in the context of renewed mediation attempts by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to find a solution to the dragging dispute in Ayodhya.

The Shia Central Wakf Board said earlier this week that it was ready to build a mosque in Lucknow so that the temple could be built in Ayodhya, a proposal which was also submitted to the Supreme Court.

Recalling his association with Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackrey, Bhagwat said: “Balasaheb once told me clearly that you cannot build Ram temple by kar sewa only. It needs a tough fight which may take even 20 to 30 years. If you continue with this fight then there is a possibility of construction of Ram temple in 20 to 30 years.

He said ‘swayamsewaks’ often come to him and ask when the temple will come up Ayodhya.

“I do not say anything to them as I am not an astrologer. It started in 1990. What Balasaheb used to say, we have completed 20 years in 2010 and would complete 30 years in 2020. His words would not go in vain,” he said.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists tore down the 16th century Babri Mosque at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, claiming it had been built after destroying an original Ram temple. The VHP then raised a makeshift Ram temple, saying it was where Lord Ram was born.

(IANS)

Election

Ahead of DDC polls, BJP targets Abdullahs over ‘land grab’

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Farooq Abdullah

New Delhi: Ahead of the District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir beginning Saturday, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad trained his guns on the Abdullahs for their alleged role in the Roshni scam.

Prasad alleged that the key leaders of the erstwhile state, including Farooq Abdullah, used their “influence and power for land grabbing”.

“In 1998, Farooq Abdullah had purchased 3 kanals of land but he encroached upon 7 kanals of land which were double the size of the purchase,” Prasad alleged while speaking to the media. He further said that under the Roshni scam, the name of Farooq Abdullah’s sister Suraiya Mattu has also appeared, who, the minister alleged, is also a beneficiary of 3 kanals of land.

“There was a conscious land loot by the powerful people of J&K who were getting benefits under the Roshni Act which was declared unconstitutional by the J&K High Court. This is low level politics by the powerful people of J&K and we condemn it,” alleged Prasad.

Prasad said the J&K High Court has declared the Roshni Act as unconstitutional and has stated that the names of people who have acquired land under this Act should be listed and made public.

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Out of Rs 951 cr voluntary contributions of above Rs 20k, BJP received Rs 698 cr: ADR

The ADR said that NCP received the maximum contributions worth Rs 5.65 crore from mining, construction, exports/imports companies.

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New Delhi: Five national political parties received Rs 951 crore through voluntary contributions of above Rs 20,000 out of which the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received Rs 698 crore, a report said on Tuesday.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in its podcast episode on analysis of donations from corporates and business houses to national political parties for financial year 2018-19 said, “Five national parties, comprising BJP, Congress, NCP, CPM and Trinamool Congress received a total of Rs 951.66 crore via voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000 out of which 93 per cent or Rs 881.26 crore was from corporates or business houses.

It further said that donations from corporates to national parties increased by 133 per cent from the period between 2004-12 to 2018-19.

“BJP received the maximum corporate donations of Rs 698.14 crore, which forms 94 per cent of the total donations to the party above Rs 20,000 in 2018-19 followed by Congress which declared a donation of Rs 127.60 crore from various corporate and business houses,” it said.

The ADR pointed out that various sectors of business houses, in seven years between financial year 2012-13 and 2018-19, donated a total of Rs 2,823.21 crore or 91.62 per cent of the total contribution from known sources of political parties amounting to Rs 3,081.58 crore.

National parties have received the maximum corporate donations during 2018-19 (Rs 881.26 crore), followed by 2014-15 (Rs 573.18 crore) and 2016-17 (Rs 563.19 crore), it said.

Donations from corporates to National parties was lowest in 2015-16, where it reduced to Rs 76.94 crore, it said.

The ADR report also highlighted that between 2012-13 and 2018-19, BJP received the maximum corporate donations of Rs 2,319.54 crore, constituting 16 per cent of the total corporate donations in the seven years.

The ADR report further stated that progressive electoral trust was the top donor to three of the National parties namely BJP, Congress and Trinamool Congress in 2018-19. “The Trust donated a total of three times in one year, amounting to Rs 455.15 crore,” it said.

The ADR said that prudent electoral trust was the second highest corporate donor to BJP and Congress, donating 25 times, a total amount of Rs 106.25 crore.

The contributions from corporate/ business houses have been classified into 15 sectors/categories by ADR and does not form a part of the submission made by parties to ECI. These sectors include Electoral Trusts, Real Estate, Manufacturing, Trusts & Group of companies, Power & Oil, Mining, Construction, Exports/Imports among others.

The ADR said that in 2018-19, Electoral Trust donated the maximum amount of Rs 617.65 crore followed by Manufacturing sector, contributing a total of Rs 96.88 crore and Mining, Construction, Exports/Imports sector, contributing a total of Rs 64.61 crore to the five national parties.

“BJP, Congress and Trinamool Congress received the maximum contributions from Electoral Trusts. BJP received the highest, Rs 471.785 crore, followed by Congress with Rs 98.88 crore and Trinamool Congress with Rs 42.98 crore,” it said.

The ADR said that NCP received the maximum contributions worth Rs 5.65 crore from mining, construction, exports/imports companies.

It also said that Rs 20.57 crore was received from the unsegregated category, which includes companies with no details available online or those with no clarity regarding their nature of work.

The Mode of payment is either incomplete or undeclared in case for 204 donations through which National parties received a huge sum of Rs 556.49 crore, which forms 15 per cent of the total amount of donations received by corporate/business houses. “Hundred per cent of corporate donations to Trinamool Congress either have incomplete or undeclared mode of payment. This was also the case for the 2016-17 and 2017-18,” it said.

The report further highlighted that in a total of 631 donations declared by national parties, there is no information related to PAN or address or details of both PAN and address details. Such contributions amount to Rs 58.395 crore.

Donations or contributions are amounts contributed above Rs 20,000 to the political parties by individuals, companies, electoral trusts and unions/ associations. The details of donors such as Name, address, PAN number, Mode of payment and date of donation have to be shown by the political party in the ‘Donations report’ filed by the party to the Election Commission of India. According to the rules laid down by the Election Commission, Contribution Report containing details of the donors who donated above Rs 20,000 have to be made available with the ECI on an annual basis as prescribed under Section 29-C of the Representation of People’s Act in Form 24A.

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Thousands paid tributes to Assam’s longest serving ex-CM Gogoi

Gogoi was discharged from the GMCH on October 25 after he recovered from Covid-19 and other post-recovery complications after more than 60 days.

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Guwahati: A large number of leaders cutting across party lines and thousands of men, women and children paid their last respect to the veteran Congress leader and Assam’s longest serving Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who died at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Monday at the age of 86.

Earlier on Tuesday, from GMCH, Gogoi’s body was taken to his official residence, the state civil secretariat Janata Bhawan, and the Assam Congress headquarters Rajiv Bhawan before mortal remains kept at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra for the people’s last respect.

Assam Pradesh Congress chief Ripun Bora said that Gogoi’s last rites are likely to be held at Manabendra Sarma Complex in Dispur on Thursday with full state honours.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and few other central leaders are likely to arrive in Guwahati on Wednesday.

The departed leader glass coffin, wrapped in wreaths and flowers, was shouldered by octogenarian leader’s Parliamentarian son Gaurav Gogoi, Ripun Bora, opposition leader Debabrata Saikia and other senior leaders like Pradyut Bordoloi and Rakibul Hussain.

During the procession with the body of the former Assam Chief Minister, thousands of passersby and waiting men and women offered their floral tributes to their beloved leader with many of them were seen weeping.

In Janata Bhawan, the state secretariat, Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua, police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta and many senior officials offered floral tributes.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday announced a three-day state mourning in honour of Gogoi, who served Assam as Chief Minister for 15 years — 2001-2016.

A six-time member of parliament from Assam in between 1971 to 2001, former Gogoi was sitting MLA from Titabar Assembly constituency in Jorhat district at the time of his death.

Gogoi was discharged from the GMCH on October 25 after he recovered from Covid-19 and other post-recovery complications after more than 60 days.

However, the post-Covid-19 complications forced the veteran politician to admit again in the GMCH on November 2 and his condition deteriorated gradually since Friday.

Doctors at GMCH were in constant touch with experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. Due to his critical condition, Gogoi could not be shifted outside the state for treatment.

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