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Ruckus in Tripura House over ex-minister’s arrest

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Tripura Assembly

Agartala, Jan 17 : The winter session of the Tripura assembly began here on Friday amid an uproar by the opposition Left legislators over the arrest of senior CPI(M) leader and former minister Badal Chowdhury.

Barely some minutes into Governor Ramesh Bais’s customary speech on the opening day of the first session, the opposition members led by Tapan Chakraborty rushed into the well of the House to protest against the arrest of Chowdhury in a “false case”, that led to the disruption of the proceedings for about half an hour.

Outside the assembly, the CPI(M)’s youth wing — the Democratic Youth Federation of India — also organised a rally to protest on the same issue.

The Tripura police in October, 2019, arrested veteran CPI-M leader and former PWD and Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury and ex-PWD Chief Engineer Sunil Bhowmik in connection with “corruption charges in implementation of Rs 638 crore projects”.

The police in the same case has been looking for former Chief Secretary Yash Pal Singh, who was the Principal Secretary (PWD) in 2008-09. Bhowmik recently got bail from the Tripura High Court while Chowdhury, deputy leader of the Left group in the state assembly, is in custody since October 21.

According to Law and Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath, the Public Works Department under the Left Front government in 2008-09 had clubbed together 13 projects — five bridges, five buildings and three road projects — being implemented at a cost of Rs 638 crore on cost-plus norms.

Terming it the “biggest scam in the history of Tripura”, Nath said “Rs 168.13 crore had been siphoned off.”

Former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is the opposition leader in the state assembly, had earlier said there was no corruption during the 35-year rule (1978-1988 and 1993-2018) of the Left parties in Tripura.

“Instead, state infrastructure and all other sectors improved in the state,” Sarkar had told the media adding that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had hatched a conspiracy against CPI-M central committee member Chowdhury to malign the previous Left governments.

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JNUSU yet to speak on prosecution sanction against Kanhaiya

On February 9, 2016, anti-national slogans were allegedly raised on the campus during a protest against the death sentence awarded to Afzal Guru in the 2002 Parliament attack.

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Kanhaiya Kumar

New Delhi, Feb 29 : A day after Delhi government’s sanction to Delhi Police for the prosecution of former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 sedition case, JNU Students Union (JNUSU) on Saturday was silent on the development.

Repeated calls and WhatsApp messages to Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union President Aishe Ghosh and Vice-President Saket Moon went unanswered.

Union General Secretary Satish Chandra Yadav responded to the call and targeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the decision, but maintained that these were his personal views and not of the JNUSU.

“The decision proves that Kejriwal projected just a fake image during the election campaign. The decision to not give any prosecution sanction before the campaigning ended was to protect his vote bank,” Satish said.

“Now that the Delhi Assembly elections are over, he has decided to betray us,” Satish claimed.

Asked if was speaking for the Union, Satish said, “I am out of the campus and unable to discuss with fellow JNUSU members. So these are my views,” he added.

The JNUSU has for long defended Kanhaiya, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.

On February 9, 2016, anti-national slogans were allegedly raised on the campus during a protest against the death sentence awarded to Afzal Guru in the 2002 Parliament attack.

The 1,200-page charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police Crime Branch named 10 JNU students, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, and seven Kashmiri students as the main accused in the case.

Later JNUSU office-bearers maintained that these people were targeted on false charges and that the charge sheet was an effort by the BJP-led central government to muzzle students’ voice.

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Delimitation to restart in four Northeastern states

The rationale given by the government was that the exercise could be carried out “now” as the previous circumstances cease to exist.

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Delimitation Act 2002 in North East

New Delhi, Feb 29 : The decks have been cleared for the resumption of the delimitation exercise in four Northeastern states. The central government on Friday cancelled its earlier notifications which deferred delimitation in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh due to security issues.

The delimitation exercise will redraw the boundaries of Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the four states which have been hit by insurgency.

The rationale given by the government was that the exercise could be carried out “now” as the previous circumstances cease to exist.

The ”order” issued by the Legislative Department of the Law Ministry said “it appears that the circumstances that led to the deferring of the delimitation exercise” in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland “have ceased to exist and that the delimitation of the constituencies as envisaged under the Delimitation Act, 2002 could be carried out now”.

It said now the President, satisfied that the circumstances that led to the deferring of the delimitation exercise have ceased to exist, “is pleased to rescind the notification … dated the February 8, 2008…”

The order pointed out that a Delimitation Commission was set up under the Delimitation Act, 2002 to readjust the division of each state and union territory into territorial constituencies for the purpose of Lok Sabha and state assembly elections on the basis of census figures of 2001.

The Commission completed the delimitation exercise and the Delimitation Order, 2008 in respect of all the states, except in these four northeastern states, it said.

Addressing all the four states individually, the order said the President on being satisfied that a situation had arisen where the unity and integrity of India was likely to be threatened and there was serious threat to the peace and public order, deferred the delimitation exercise.

“In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted four times – in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962, in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002,” it said.

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Congress delegation visits violence-hit Delhi areas

As per figures available till February 28, a total of 39 persons were killed, of which 13 had gunshot wounds. As many as 22 died of severe injuries suffered during rioting.

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Congress Delegation

New Delhi, Feb 28 : The Congress’ five-member delegation, set up by interim President Sonia Gandhi to file a report on Delhi violence, visited the GTB hospital and interacted with victims admitted to the hospital and their families.

The deadly clashes in northeast Delhi, after a clash between opponents and supporters of the CAA on Sunday took on a communal turn, have left over 40 people dead and over 200 injured and extensive damage to property, including homes, shops and other establishment

Earlier on Friday, Gandhi constituted the delegation comprising party general Secretary Mukul Wasnik, Delhi in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil, former Union Minister Tariq Anwar, Haryana unit chief Kumari Selja, and Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev.

The delegation was tasked to “assess the situation emanating from the mindless violence in riot affected areas and its after-effects and submit a detailed report to the Congress President immediately”, as per the release issued by party General Secretary K.C. Venugopal.

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