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Sedition charges dropped in Rajasthan Congress MLAs horse-trading case

The SOG registered the first FIR on July 10 under sections 124A and 120B of the IPC and arrested two accused in this regard.

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur, Aug 5 : Scrapping the sedition charges clamped on Congress MLAs accused of alleged horse-trading to topple the state government in Rajasthan, the special operations group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police on Tuesday transferred the case to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Reacting to the development, Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia said “the intention of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and the state government has now been exposed as it’s clear that they hatched a conspiracy against their own MLAs to intimidate the Independents and small party MLAs, in the name of SOG and ACB”.

An SOG official confirmed that the offence of MLAs does not fall under the category of Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and therefore, the case has been transferred to the ACB.

According to a statement issued by SOG, a legal opinion was taken in relation to the complaint filed on July 10, which confirmed that this case is not an offence under Section 124A of the IPC, officials said, adding: “Prima facie the crime comes under the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018. Therefore, all documents have been sent to ACB for further action.”

It needs to be mentioned here that rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot was also summoned under Sections 124 A (under sedition charges) and 120 B which left the former deputy Chief Minister aggrieved and tormented.

The SOG registered the first FIR on July 10 under sections 124A and 120B of the IPC and arrested two accused in this regard.

Thereafter, on July 17, on the complaint of the government chief whip Mahesh Joshi, two more FIRs were registered in similar sections.

On the same day, one Sanjay Jain, an agent allegedly mediating for horse-trading, was arrested and after being presented in the court, was taken into police remand.

The case is related to the alleged audio tapes which surfaced last month in which Sanjay Jain can be heard talking to Congress MLAs Bhanwarlal Sharma and Gajendra Singh planning to topple the government through horse-trading.

Poonia said: “We had said earlier that 124A is a case of treason, it was a law declared in 1870 during the British era which was imposed on Mahatma Gandhi by the British government and same law was imposed on freedom fighter Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak for writing articles in a magazine.

“How instability within the party can be put under the treason was questionable. The withdrawal of the sedition case makes it clear that the government was wrong and mistaken in this case. Withdrawing the sedition case is a moral defeat of the government. This has also exposed the conspiracy being carried out by the government. The government wanted to intimidate independents and small party legislators, in the name of SOG and ACB. It has been proved that the Chief Minister is using SOG, ACB, and Rajasthan Police as instruments to save his chair,” he added.

Politics

Stalin couldn’t find fault with farm bills even with a magnifying glass: TN CM

Stalin was talking without knowing about the bills that have been adopted in Parliament, Palaniswami told reporters at Madurai.

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Edappadi K Palaniswami

The AIADMK extended support to the three farm bills as they benefited the farmers, and DMK chief M K Stalin, though he could not pick holes even with a magnifying glass, has still announced a protest against it, Chief Minister K Palaniswami asserted on Tuesday.

Palaniswami, who visited Ramanathapuram to inaugurate new projects and distribute government welfare assistance to beneficiaries said his party’s aim is safeguarding the interests of the farmers.

“Since the three bills benefited the farmers, we supported it. We will support any initiative aimed at benefiting the farmers and at the same time oppose any scheme that would affect them and this is our stand and we have made this clear,” he told reporters at Ramanathapuram.

Several schemes aimed at the welfare of farmers including the water resources rejuvenation ‘Kudimaramathu’ and construction of a slew of check dams have been implemented only because he was a farmer, the Chief Minister said answering a question on DMK chief M K Stalin criticising him for calling himself a farmer and supporting the farm bills.

“I am a farmer. To this day I am doing farming and I take pride in calling myself a farmer. Stalin does not know anything about agriculture,” he said, adding since the DMK president could not find fault with the government, he was making unfounded allegations.

Stalin was talking “without knowing” about the bills that have been adopted in Parliament, Palaniswami told reporters at Madurai.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 was in sync with a 2019 Tamil Nadu law, he said.

Farmers are also protected from price fall besides other advantages. “If Stalin can explain what is wrong in these provisions it will be good. Farmers will not be affected, these benefit them and that is why we have supported.”

Tamil Nadu has already taken steps to help farmers sell their produce anywhere freely and only this framework has now been extended across the nation through the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, he said.

“This law is already there in Tamil Nadu. The Centre has brought this Bill since other states do not have it.”

Similarly, after explaining the features of the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, he said all the three passed bills have absolutely no adverse impact for farmers and on the contrary, the provisions are good for them and the people.

The farmers market (Uzhavar Sandhai) would continue to function in Tamil Nadu and opposition parties were spreading rumours that these would be affected, he said.

Farmers in states like Punjab were agitated due to spread of rumours that there would be no Minimum Support Price and government procurement but the Centre has categorically made it clear that MSP and procurement would continue, he said.

“We don’t understand why he (Stalin) opposes the farm bills. What is wrong in these laws. He searched with a magnifying glass and could not find any fault (with farm bills). Still, he has announced a protest against the bills,” Palaniswami said.

The “historic” Rs 14,000 crore worth Cauvery Gundaru river-linking project would be inaugurated before the end of January next year, he said.

Unlike the DMK regime, which entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with a private entity for coal bed methane extraction in the fertile Cauvery delta region affecting the farmers interests, it was the AIADMK government which declared it as a protected zone for agriculture, Palaniswami said.

“Can Stalin deny that he was responsible for the project,” he asked, adding this aspect cannot be hidden and farmers would not forget that the leader of the opposition was responsible for that project during the DMK led rule years ago.

To a question on his party’s Rajya Sabha MP, S R Balasubramoniyan’s criticism on some provisions of the farm bills, Palaniswami said: “we will seek an explanation from him. He has said that he has only put on record his opinion. Still, we will ask him to explain.”

Earlier, at a review meeting at the Ramanathapuram Collectorate, Palaniswami said all steps for implementing the Cauvery Gundaru project has been initiated and through the initiative one lakh acre would get irrigation facilities in Ramanathapuram district.

The scheme, part of proposals envisaged under the Peninsular Rivers Development component of the National Perspective Plan, aims at diverting surplus water from Mettur dam to water deficit regions.

On Sunday, the Rajya Sabha passed the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that seeks to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion, and potatoes from the list of essential commodities and will do away with the imposition of stock holding limits, was adopted on Tuesday in the upper house.

These three bills have already been passed by the Lok Sabha.

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Politics

AIADMK to seek explanation from RS member for opposing farm Bills

When it was pointed out that Balasubramanian spoke against the farm Bills in the Rajya Sabha, Palaniswami said an explanation will be sought from him.

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balasubramanian sr

Chennai: Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK on Tuesday said that it will seek an explanation from its Rajya Sabha member S.R. Balasubramanian for speaking against the three farm Bills in the upper house on Sunday.

Queried about the AIADMK government’s stand on the farm laws, party Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said the Central government has brought in the three laws for the benefit of the farmers.

The government will support schemes that are beneficial for the farmers and oppose those schemes that are detrimental to their interest, he said.

When it was pointed out that Balasubramanian spoke against the farm Bills in the Rajya Sabha, Palaniswami said an explanation will be sought from him.

Balasubramanian spoke against the three Bills, a day after Palaniswami issued a detailed statement highlighting the features of the Bills.

A former Congressman, Balasubramanian joined the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) and then the AIADMK in 2016 and soon after, was sent to the Rajya Sabha.

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Business

YSRCP leaders spreading lies on TDP, destroying Amaravati: Chandrababu Naidu

According to Naidu, Reddy has no faith in any religion but only indulges in theatrics to safeguard his vote banks.

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Naidu

Amaravati, Sep 22 : Andhra Pradesh opposition leader and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said YSRCP leaders are spreading false information about erstwhile TDP projects with a plan to destroy Amaravati capital city.

“The evil-minded YSRCP leaders were only spreading misinformation campaigns on TDP projects with a plan to destroy Amaravati Capital city,” alleged Naidu.

During an online interaction with senior party leaders and candidates from all the 175 constituencies, he claimed that the ruling party MPs were not fighting for the people’s issues and did not raise the minimum support price issue for farmers in their protests.

Naidu alleged that Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is indulging in vote bank politics, and claimed that he is not condemning attacks on temples, dalits, BCs and minorities.

“The Chief Minister did not bother to visit one single temple and failed to give a strong warning to the perpetrators of these crimes,” he asserted.

According to Naidu, Reddy has no faith in any religion but only indulges in theatrics to safeguard his vote banks.

The TDP supremo claimed that multiple investigations against him were carried out in the past but none of them yielded any proof of wrongdoing.

“Even Reddy ordered many inquiries after becoming CM but he could not find fault with the TDP regime in the past 15 months,” he claimed.

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